Understanding Advance Healthcare Directives and the Need for a Directive Power of Attorney

There are many lessons that can be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most somber ones is that mortality is a lot more tenuous than we might like to believe. The truth is that we are all vulnerable, even those who may think of themselves as young or healthy. There’s simply no way of knowing what tomorrow will bring.

That’s why it’s so important to have an estate plan that accounts for illness and infirmity. One way to accomplish that is by having an advance healthcare directive in place.

What is an Advance Healthcare Directive?

An advance healthcare directive answers a simple but sobering question: What would happen to you if you were no longer to make your own medical decisions, whether due to accident or injury? For example, what if you were in a coma and couldn’t speak up for yourself about whether to receive medical intervention, whether you want to be kept on life support systems, etc.?

Through a healthcare directive, you can make your wishes known, in a way that is legally sound and clear. This is an important aspect of the estate planning process.

Why Work with an Advance Directive Attorney?

There are a couple of reasons why it makes sense to work with an advance directive attorney to put one of these documents into place.

First, it benefits you. As we’ve mentioned, none of us are promised a safe, healthy tomorrow. To ensure your wishes are upheld, working with an advance health directive attorney is essential.

But also remember that an advance healthcare directive benefits your loved ones. If you ever do become incapacitated, this document will provide them with clarity about what you really want; they won’t have to guess or argue over what’s really best.

Health Directives vs. Powers of Attorney

Another consideration: The distinction between a health directive and power of attorney.

The two are similar, but by no means are they synonymous. We’ve explained the health directive already. A power of attorney allows you to appoint an individual to be your legal representative, should you ever become incapacitated. The individual you appoint will have the authority to make medical care decisions on your behalf, until the point when you recover and can once again make your own decisions.

Important distinction: There are healthcare powers of attorney, which allow you to name a representative who makes medical decisions for you; and financial powers of attorney, which allow you to name a representative who makes legal, financial, and business decisions for you.

Working with an Advance Health Directive Attorney

Is it better for you to have an advance healthcare directive, a medical power attorney, or a financial power of attorney? Or, does it make sense for you to have some combination, or even all three?

That’s a question best explored with the help of your estate planning lawyer. An attorney can help you determine what kind of documents you should have in order to achieve your estate planning goals and develop the right estate planning strategy.

Meet with an Estate Planning Attorney from Singh Law Firm

If you have any additional questions, or wish to speak to a health directive power of attorney lawyer, contact our team today.

Singh Law Firm has provided robust estate plans for countless individuals. We are happy to walk you through the ins and out of health care directives and more.

Let’s talk together about your specific estate planning needs and goals. Reach out to Singh Law Firm to schedule an appointment with us.

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