Don't be caught without these important documents before surgery

Kristen Marks

by Kristen Marks

Kristen Marks is a travel enthusiast, empty-nest mom to two young adult children, athlete, attorney, author, speaker, proud wife of almost three decades (to the same wonderful man!), and the founder of My Pink Lawyer®, Florida Estate & Legacy Planning attorneys. Kristen has been crafting professional estate plans for Floridians and their families for over 28 years.

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Surely, it’s been twenty minutes already, I thought for the 10th time as I sneaked a peek at my watch.



I was attempting to meditate again as I sat in a quiet corner of the waiting room of the hospital where my mom was having the “goober” in her brain removed last week. A scheduled 4-5 hour surgery, I settled in for a long wait with my phone, iPad, Kindle, magazines, earbuds and, of course, snacks spread out around me.


My mom was in fairly good spirits during the pre-op check-in. A bad night before with headaches and vomiting, she was ready for the surgery, any anxiety outweighed by the hope of symptoms to be relieved.


We joked with each other, the nurses, doctors and other staff which is our way of dealing with stressful or uncomfortable situations.


“Maybe this surgery will knock some sense into you,” I quipped.


“It’s my daughter’s birthday today. I scheduled the surgery just so I could upstage her,” my mom joked.


Jokes aside, we came to the hospital armed with her important legal paperwork—advanced health care directives and durable power of attorney—because you never know.


Fortunately, my mom has had her affairs in order for years now following the death of her husband, unlike some phone calls I receive from frantic family members who want me to come to the hospital with legal papers in hand because their loved one never saw the need or got around to planning themselves.


Fortunately, the health care directives were not needed for my mom. Unfortunately, a neighboring family in the waiting room was not so lucky as I overheard the doctor discuss their mother’s living will wishes with them.


The neurosurgeon removed a meningioma, a non-cancerous tumor the size of a peach from the back of my mom’s brain. “Goober” it was but now it’s gone, thankfully. Best birthday gift ever.


Let this be a lesson that it’s never too early to get your legal affairs in order. Many folks don’t have the “blessing” of a pre-planned surgery before medical directives are needed. And the last thing you will want to think about in a medical emergency is making sure your proverbial financial, legal, and medical house is in order.


Kristen “Thankful for the Best Birthday Gift” Marks


P.S. Ready to get YOUR legal house in order? Call our office to schedule your Legacy Estate Planning consultation with us today: 850-439-1191


P.P.S. A new Florida and Alabama probate and guardianship attorney has moved into our office, Lauren Lewis. Check out her latest blog post answering a pressing question: Do you inherit your Parents’ Debt? What about your Spouse’s Debt?


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