Why You Should Care About Advance Planning

–Kay Riley knows the legal system can be intimidating.  Her job is to guide you through it.  She provides advance care planning services at Family Eldercare.  To her, the job is personal. This is her story.–

My first job was answering phones at a family law firm. I started out knowing nothing. I’ve now gained a decade of experience in the legal field, but I’ll never forget how it felt to be so overwhelmed by the legal system. I think that’s a big part of the reason I was thrilled to take the lead on Family Eldercare’s new advance care planning project. I love making legal processes easier for people to understand – to share my hard-won knowledge.


This new project offers Medical Power of Attorney and Advance Directives at a low cost.

What’s an Advanced Directive? Basically, I can help you create a legal document outlining who will make decisions for you or outlining the decisions that you want to be made on your behalf in the event you are unable to make decisions for yourself. So, your advance directive can say: this is the person that I want to make the decisions for me – or, your advance directive could say: this is what I want to happen to me in a given situation.

This work is very personal for me. When my father passed it was very messy. No one knew what to do. I hated seeing my loved ones fight over what they thought he would have wanted. I wish our family would have set up an Advanced Directive. Now I tell everyone to do it. This year, two people in my life are turning 63 and 64. I can see them already starting to show the signs of aging, and I need to know that their wishes will be respected if they ever become unable to communicate how they want to be cared for.

So, if you or someone you know doesn’t already have an Advanced Directive, please reach out to me by phone at 512.628.1686 or by email at kriley@familyeldercare.org.

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I can help you navigate a complex legal system. I treat everyone who comes in for this service like I would treat one of my own loved ones – because I know they are loved by someone else. And because these simple documents can mean the difference between a family fighting and a family united.

-Special thanks to Kay Riley, Guardianship Legal Assistant, for sharing her story.