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Lessons From Madonna, Jamie Foxx, and Pete Davidson: No One Expects a Medical Emergency

By Catherine Hodder, Esq. | Last updated on

Madonna, Jamie Foxx, and Pete Davidson are all Hollywood celebrities with different careers in showbiz. But one thing these celebrities have in common is that a sudden illness recently interrupted their lives.

Madonna postponed her "Celebration" world tour due to a serious bacterial infection which put her in the ICU for many days. Jamie Foxx was hospitalized in April 2023 for a "medical complication." He was in the middle of filming the movie "Back in Action." And SNL alum Pete Davidson checked himself into a rehab facility to work on his mental health while working on his television project "Bupkis."

It's safe to assume none of these celebrities planned such an interruption in their busy lives.

Since they have agents, managers, and people who work for them, they have people who manage their financial lives and make medical decisions when they are incapacitated. But regular people may not have a built-in staff to help them when they face an unexpected illness.

So, if you aren't a celebrity, what do you do?

Plan Ahead

There is a fair likelihood that you may be incapacitated at some point in your life. According to the Social Security Administration, 25% of today's 20-year-olds "will become disabled before reaching age 67." Even if you are hospitalized for a few days, that can cause havoc among your family, business, and other responsibilities.

The best way to keep your busy life going (while you aren't) is to create estate planning documents to help with medical and financial decisions when you cannot make them. These documents include a health care power of attorney, a living will or advance medical directive, and a financial power of attorney.

Name a Health Care Agent

health care power of attorney is a document that lets you name someone as your health care agent or health care surrogate to have access to your medical records, speak with health care providers, and make decisions for your care when you cannot. You should choose someone you trust who can understand medical information and knows what you want.

Make a Living Will or Advance Medical Directive

A living will or advance medical directive is a document where you express your wishes for life-prolonging measures if you have a terminal condition or end-stage illness. You decide what treatments you want or don't want at the end of your life.

The benefit of a living will is that you are in charge of your care, and the burden is not left to your loved ones, who may not know your wishes.

Name Someone as an Agent for Financial Matters

power of attorney is a document where you name someone you trust as your agent to pay bills, manage your finances, and keep your financial life uninterrupted. The person you name is your agent, and they have a fiduciary duty to act in your best interests.

It is crucial to choose someone you trust because they have access to your bank accounts and can bind you to contracts.

Celebrity Health Update

Fortunately, Madonna has been released from intensive care. Jamie Foxx's daughter, Corinne Foxx, reports that Jamie is back from the hospital and doing well. And hopefully, Pete Davidson is on the road to recovery. But these headlines on TMZ, Page Six, and social media should make us think about what we would do in case of a sudden illness.

Dealing with an unexpected illness or health emergency is difficult. Planning for one isn't, especially with helpful online legal resources where you can create your own health care power of attorney, living will, and power of attorney documents. Don't wait until you have a health scare to act. Make your plans now.

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