Advance Health Care Directives
Elder law is not only for seniors. While life is full of unforeseen events, some can be appropriately planned for.
Especially crucial are properly drafted advance health care directives. In a medical emergency, the choices to be made can be overwhelming. It’s important that you don’t leave your loved ones struggling to come to consensus on your unexpressed wishes at the same time that they’re absorbing the emotional impact of an accident or illness.
A health care proxy is someone you invest with full legal authority to make medical decisions if you are no longer able to make them for yourself. Designating a health care proxy minimizes conflict and confusion during some of life’s most stressful moments, clearly identifying the individual responsible for medical choices. In addition, it’s wise to draft a Living Will, which outlines your preferences regarding end-of-life medical care. What lifesaving measures are you comfortable with? Which do you wish to forego? A thorough and competently drafted Living Will can help to reduce the pressure and emotional toll on the health care proxy.
In addition, a properly drafted durable Power of Attorney ensures that you control who makes legal and financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated. Often, in medical emergencies, families focus all their energy and time on medical decisions—as they should. Yet life outside the hospital room doesn’t slow down, and often there are legal and financial issues that remain unaddressed until the medical crisis passes, which results in the loss of valuable assets and unrecoverable time.
Our dedicated staff of attorneys and case managers stands ready with answers, advice, and assistance in drafting your advance directives. These are difficult issues, and you should consult your family beforehand or bring them along to the consultation. Don’t put unnecessary burdens on your family; plan now for the events you can’t predict.