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The situation is that my wife is in a nursing home, probably permanently, since she has a host of health problems, both physical and mental. Such Advance Directives, Wills, etc. as we have are either woefully out of date or non-existent. I'm just about to begin working with an elder law attorney to get a new and complete set of documents drawn up for my wife and me, but I literally don't have any family members to call on to serve as my agents, executors, etc.

Because of my wife's condition, I don't think she should be appointed to act in this capacity. I've approached several friends about serving as my agent, and all of them have turned me down, because the duties involved (especially with the Medical POA) could potentially very time-consuming and stressful for anyone to contemplate. I can totally understand why these folks have turned me down, and I do have a couple of other possible candidates whom I haven't approached yet. But I'm getting worried that I may not be able to find anyone to act in that capacity for me.

What can/should I do?

(There are other big problems relating to this whole process, but I'll save them for a separate query at some point. No sense muddying the waters any more than they already are.)

Thanks in advance for any good ideas!

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Another question.... What happens to elders when a plan for care fails? You become a ward of the state? County social services? What is the worst case senerio for elders who have no one?
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I am also facing this situation, no kids or living siblings. I hope others log into this discussion as to how they are planning for the future. When I think about all the detailed tasks I havevdone for my parents, it's hard to imagine that some unrelated, hired third party could watch out for me and my wife as we age and lose our abilities.
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I ran into those same problems, who do I name since I have no siblings and never had any children. On some items I was able to name my Attorney/Firm. Finding agents for my Advance Directives was very difficult and the Firm could not be my agent.
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It is important that you draw up an advance directive, stating as clearly as possible your wishes under various circumstances. Be sure that the clinic and hospitals you use have a copy. This should guide medical staff when decisions need to be made. Ideally you also appoint someone who knows you well and whom you trust to carry out your wishes to act on your behalf about medical decisions when you cannot do so. Do at least fill out a document listing your preferences, even if you do not have an agent to name. That could be added later if you come up with someone.

The more you will be relying on medical staff to make decisions for you in the absence of a personal agent/advocate, the more important it is to be as clear and comprehensive as possible in stating your medical wishes.

I agree that naming your wife is not appropriate.
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