The SafeEstates Blog

A Lesson From Tom Petty on End of Life Decisions

After Randy finished law school, he joined a law firm in Gainesville, Florida. From the law firm partners and the local judges, Randy received much mentoring, kindness, encouragement and correction. One judge was especially memorable. Judge Tench had silver hair, wore a neatly trimmed and waxed handlebar moustache, and was a dapper dresser.
At an early morning hearing, Judge Tench enthusiastically described attending his son’s rock concert in Jacksonville the night before. Randy knew the judge’s son played in a local band, but did not know much about the group. It was remarkable to hear conservative and distinguished Judge Tench so supportive of his son’s music career. If you are a Tom Petty fan, you probably already know Judge Tench’s son is Benjamin M. (Benmont) Tench, III, keyboard musician with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for over 40 years.
Tom Petty went into cardiac arrest and was taken to UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica on October 2, 2017. He died that evening. At this time, the public is not aware of who will be inheriting his estate and what type of plan he had in place, but what we do know is that he left directions regarding his end of life decisions. Tom Petty’s family took him off life support in accordance with a do not resuscitate order that he had signed.
In our experience, clients often struggle the most over decisions they make in health care directives outlining their end of life decisions. The circumstances surrounding Tom Petty’s death remind me how important it is to have a document in place that directs 1) who is in charge of making health care decisions for you with your doctor if you can’t express your wishes, and 2) what you want to happen in certain end of life scenarios. We can’t anticipate what our circumstances will be, but I know loved ones are always grateful to have some sort of written guidance when making tough calls in end of life situations. You can sign an advance directive for health care decisions when you turn eighteen (18). If you or a family member needs to create an advance directive for health care, please contact us