Advance Medical Directives are legal documents that reflect your wishes as to how you want medical decisions to be made for you in the event you are not able to make them yourself due to incapacity.
Your Medical Directives include Durable Medical Powers of Attorney and a Living Will. Both documents work hand in hand to help ensure your wishes are honored when you’re physically or mentally unable to make fully informed medical decisions yourself.
The Durable Medical Power of Attorney lets you name your health care proxy or representative. This document is essential if you or someone you love becomes incapacitated. It gives your doctors written permission to consult with the people you trust to make decisions about your medical care. Your Medical Agent is typically someone you know well and trust to fulfill the wishes you’ve outlined in your Living Will. It’s usually a good idea to let your representative know in advance that you’ve appointed them. This helps to minimize any surprise or confusion. And if you give them copies in advance, they can quickly assume their role and present themselves with copies of your documents, eliminating delays. Many times, in medical emergencies, quick decisions need to be made, so your health care proxy will want to know their responsibility ahead of time.
Your Living Will spells out your end-of life wishes and works in conjunction with your Medical Power of Attorney, which gives your Agent legal standing to make life and death decisions for you. You indicate by your initials the extent of medical and life sustaining treatment you desire under various circumstances. In the event of a terminal condition, persistent vegetative state or coma, you can indicate whether or not you desire to receive drugs, electric shock, tube feeding and artificial breathing to keep you alive. Your Living Will is designed to help make your proxy’s decisions around maintaining or withdrawing life sustaining treatment somewhat less difficult during a most challenging time for your loved ones.
Your Financial Power of Attorney gives your Agent the power to make financial decisions for you in the event of incapacity. Your Financial Agent can pay bills, access your accounts and sign most legal documents on your behalf, including real estate and business transactions. The Power of Attorney may also give your Agent the power to create a Living Trust or amend an existing Trust. This document can be very helpful in managing your financial and personal affairs whether you’re incapacitated for a short period or a longer duration.
If COVID-19 has shown us anything, it may be the importance of having our Advance Directives and other important legal documents in place. So many people are finding themselves faced with tough decisions about caring for their loved ones who are undergoing serious due to the virus. If you or a loved one need advance directives, please keep Life Planning, Inc. in mind. We’ll streamline the process of getting these and other important legal documents in place, quickly, easily and cost-effectively. The bigger estate planning picture can include Revocable Living Trust to help avoid probate and ensure your assets are managed, protected, and distributed to your beneficiaries with minimal cost and delay. Give us a call today at (480) 451-7727 or toll free at (877) 438-7878 to schedule your free consultation.