Beware of Lawyers!

Written by on December 8, 2013 in Blog with 2 Comments

I’m a lawyer.  But I have to give you this warning about my brethren.

Here’s why.  A friend if mine recently had me review her advance directive.   It was drawn up several years ago by a top-notch lawyer in her city.   It was six pages long,  tightly packed, and full of legalese with long, convoluted sentences.

So I sent her my advance directive ( , ADVANCE DIRECTIVE page).  It is designed for quick, easy  reading by your attending physician when your life is hanging by a thread (this doc is unlikely to be your personal physician).    All the key provisions of mine are on one page (page 2).   I asked her this: If you were in dire straights, and were dependent upon the attending physician to read and follow your wishes, which form, your lawyer’s or mine, would have the best chance of being read and followed?  Her answer was unequivocal — mine.

Legalize may be good for complicated contracts where people (i.e., your lawyer and the other side’s  lawyer)  have time to read the terms and digest them.  But in a crisis hospital situation circumstances are vastly different.  Your doc may not even have time to  look for your tome, let alone time to read and comprehend it.

Remember KISS  —  that applies to your advance directive:  Keep It Simple, Stupid!






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  1. Your offer of an uncomplicated Advance Directive is both generous and truly helpful. May I post a link to it on the Helpful Links page of my web site? We share the goal of helping those who are planning for end of life.
    Barbara Bergen, Designer, Cremation Urns by Legacy,

    • says:

      Thank you Barbara for your reply. Please do add a link to your website.

      Bill Simmons.

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