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Mary Beth Kelly

Advanced directives should be part of your estate plan

On Behalf of | May 21, 2021 | Health Care Directives |

What is a health care directive? Residents of Lake Mary and other parts of Florida may want to learn more about the health care directive, and the parts that make it up. A living will and a power of attorney are the two kinds of advance directives.

According to WebMD, many people do not think of advanced directives until they have to. This may cause a family to struggle with decisions because their mom or dad did not make it clear what they want. It is important that they follow your wishes when the time comes, and you cannot express them yourself.

A living will contains preferences

This document specifies preferences for different kinds of life-sustaining treatments. Interventions, such as mechanical respiration, cardiac resuscitation and tube feeding are choices to chose or to not chose.

Power of attorney names someone

This is a directive, and it names a trusted person to act as your agent. It takes effect when you are not able to speak for yourself. If you decide that you want a separate person to handle financial decisions and another to make health care choices, you can do separate financial and health care powers of attorney.

Decisions need to be legally binding

Healthcare directives and HIPAA authorizations need your signature and authorization and must be in place for hospitals and doctors to proceed with care. They need to be signed before you become incapacitated.

Some things to think about include the following:

  • Pain relief
  • Life-sustaining options
  • Artificial life support
  • Organ donations
  • Type of burial, cremation, etc. – who handles these arrangements

If you need help with health care directives and estate planning, it may be wise to consult an attorney with experience and knowledge in this area. They can help you rest more securely, knowing your wishes will be followed.