This time of year we often are reminded of taxes, and April 15th as the “due date” for submitting our income tax returns.
But April 16th is a day worth noting too–it is National Healthcare Decisions Day. Sure, it’s not as much fun as the Fourth of July, or as warm and fuzzy as we hope Thanksgiving could  be.
But it is as good a time as any to think about advance directives, or what some might call a medical power of attorney, or selecting in Michigan at least, a patient advocate.
I can draft such documents for you, and help you think through the issues that could be involved.  I’ve blogged on this earlier and you may want to see my previous blog (Designating Someone to Help in Health Emergencies). Feel free to contact me and set up an appointment to get this done.
And as you and friends and family and neighbors and loved ones think about the issue, check out the resources too at the National Health Care Decisions Day website: or at the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys website:
Oh, and by the way?  If you think you need more time to file your taxes, and can’t meet the April 15th deadline. you can ask for an additional six months to prepare and file a tax return. Individual taxpayers must file IRS Form 4868. The IRS extension can be filed electronically or through the mail. But an extension to file, is not an extension to pay the IRS. Taxpayers are required to pay 90 percent of their prior year tax liability by April 15th tax deadline.
But if you have a medical disaster, and are unable to communicate your health care wishes yourself, there are no extensions.  It is quite likely that without a valid advance directive in place, a trip to the probate court will be needed, and that will be more trouble and expense, usually, than simply drawing up a good designation of patient advocate document with your lawyer.
In Michigan you may note some various public events on the 16th of April, in regards to National Health Care Decisions Day.  But you don’t need to wait for the procrastinators of the world…you can start to think about it now.