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Decision Making Emergencies

Decision-making challenges impact decision-making when you can’t make them. Decision making emergencies occur because what you want differs from what others want. There are two big areas when these issues arise. First, when you’re alive but can’t make decisions on your own. These situations occur because you are unconscious (i.e., during or after a medical emergency or procedure, etc.) or you’ve been declared incapacitated or incompetent. Second, when you’ve passed. After your gone, what happens, and who decides? What type of funeral do you want? Who pays for this funeral? Where does your property go? The emergencies arise when your wants are not clear.

Most of us that have done a little planning, think we’ve covered our bases. But have we?

When Unconscious or Incompetent

Here’s an example of a conversation Carmen and I have had many times.


Your eighty-two and need help bathing, toileting, cooking, and eating. You have good days and bad days, but you simply cannot care for yourself. A court would likely declare you incompetent and unable to manage your own financial affairs. Your Doctors, however, would probably say you were competent enough to make your own medical decisions.

What happens in the following situations:

After Death

After you’ve passed there are lots of issues that need to be resolved. Some seniors do a great deal of planning so their loved ones can mourn their loss rather than try and figure out what to do next. Others don’t.

How are these situations below resolved after you’ve passed?

  • You have no money, and your funeral plans were accidentally misplaced.
  • Unexpectedly you just got remarried. Your new wife moved in with you as did her special needs child. How is the home handled?
  • Your eldest son just borrowed $100,000. You have four children and $750,000 in assets. He said he’d pay you back, but there’s no writing indicating this arrangement.
  • For three generations, your Family has owned a family burial area. Plots in a graveyard for family members. Your first wife is buried in the cemetery. There is an adjacent plot for you. You and your third wife have just passed in a car accident. Where are you and your wife buried?