The estate planning process forces you to ask a number of tough yet important questions. One such question: What will happen to you if you should fall into a coma, or otherwise become medically incapacitated? How can you ensure that your wishes, specifically regarding life-changing surgeries, medications, and support systems, are upheld?
One way to answer that question is with an advance health care directive. As you consider the merits of a health care directive, it may also be wise to enlist the services of an advance health care directive lawyer, who can guide you in implementing this important legal document.
Before we address the role of the advance directive attorney, let’s zoom out to consider the broader picture. Specifically: What is an advance health care directive, anyway?
Essentially, this is a legal document that allows you to outline your wishes concerning which surgeries, medications, or life support systems you wish to be used (or, do not wish to be used) should you become medically incapacitated in some way.
Through an advance health care directive lawyer, you can make your wishes known and ensure that your doctors and your family members know how you want to be treated, even if you are not actually able to speak up and voice your intentions.
There are a number of ways in which an estate planning attorney can help you implement this important document. Consider:
Ensure a Legally Valid Document
The first reason to hire a directive power of attorney is simply to ensure that your advance health care directive is drafted and filed in a way that is legally valid. Keep in mind that estate planning laws and regulations can be complicated, and even a small error may cause your directive to be questioned by the courts. This can lead to a lot of chaos and uncertainty, in a time when your doctors and loved ones will crave clarity.
Distinguish Between a Health Directive and Power of Attorney
Another important role that your estate planning lawyer might play is to help you determine whether you need a health directive, or a power of attorney. The latter is an estate planning document that allows you to appoint another person to act as your legal representative, speaking for you if you are unable to speak for yourself. You may choose to implement a financial power of attorney, a medical power of attorney, or both. Your lawyer can help you determine the best course of action, whether that’s a directive or power of attorney.
Keep Your Document Up to Date
What happens if your values, wishes, or intentions change? It’s important to keep your health directive current. A good estate planning lawyer will be prepared to review and revise your key documents as needed.
Who Needs an Advance Health Care Directive?
The estate planning process is all about preparing for the future and mitigating any uncertainty in your life. One of the best ways to do that is to ensure you have a legal document outlining your end-of-life wishes, whether that means an advance health care directive, a living will, a directive power of attorney, or some combination of these.
If you’re looking to implement a health directive or power of attorney Fremont, we invite you to contact the legal team here at Singh Law Firm. We’d love to talk with you about your estate planning needs and goals. To schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys, reach out to Singh Law Firm at your next opportunity.