If you are unable to communicate your wishes regarding medical care and treatment options it is important that you have documents in place to convey those wishes to your loved ones and medical providers. This is done through documents called Advance Healthcare Directives.
Advance Directive for a Natural Death
An advance directive for a natural death is also referred to as a living will. This document specifies your preferences pertaining to life prolonging procedures and end-of-life medical if illness or injury prevent you from making those decisions. Living wills can be tailored to your wishes. When executing a living will is it important to understand the medical terms contained within the document as well as the implications of your decisions. An experienced attorney can ensure you understand your directives and that your documents meet your wishes.
Health Care Power of Attorney
Like any other power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney is a delegation of authority. The health care power of attorney appoints a health care agent who is your chosen individual to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. Even if you have an advance directive for a natural death in place it is also important to have a healthcare power of attorney because there may are situations that an advance directive cannot cover. A healthcare agent cannot override the wishes in your living will unless you specifically provide them with that authority. However, providing someone with this type of authority can be a major decision. You should choose someone you trust and who understands your desires so their decisions align with your wishes.
Both documents are legally binding. Your medical care providers are required to follow the instructions of your living will and health care power of attorney so it is important to understand the legal consequences of these documents, the authority delegated and when they become effective.
We understand that it can be difficult to consider every scenario. We provide you with a comprehensive questionnaire to complete before your estate planning consultation to help us
better understand your needs and wishes. We will thoroughly discuss your responses, address your questions and concerns, and ensure we properly identify your goals. We then create or amend your plan to ensure it effectively achieves your wishes. Contact us with a confidential consultation at 919-533-4115, or complete our Estate Planning consultation form by clicking the connect buttons on this page.
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