I have always advised my clients on estate planning issues, particularly end-of-life concerns, such as living wills and health care powers. Admittedly, I never gave these documents too much thought since I felt that, once they were in place, the decisions would take care of themselves. I was wrong.

This spring, I spent 13 weeks as a primary caregiver for my brother Bob, who passed away June 17 from pancreatic cancer. When the doctors delivered the prognosis, Bob, only 68, a retired Salvation Army pastor, comforted them, explaining that he knew he was "going home," and would chose hospice care until then.

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