Advance Legal Planning – FAQ
It is important to make plans and decisions about what you want to happen in the event that you become incapacitated or die.
Advance document preparation and communicating your wishes to loved ones are the only ways to ensure your wishes will be honored.
You’ll also be doing a great kindness to them by allowing them to know your wishes clearly, so they can make the appropriate decisions with confidence.
Advance Medical Directives, Living Wills, and Medical Proxies
These documents are a way for you to be confident that your wishes are followed should you become unable to make decisions for yourself. Here’s a brief overview of some common options.
Advance Medical Directives are ways to document treatment preferences and designate decision makers in case you’re ever unable to make decisions or communicate this information yourself. These include Living Wills, Medical Proxies, and Powers of Attorney.
A Living Will can be specific or general. People most commonly think of these in the context of having a “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) order, e.g. if the person is brain dead and their heart stops, they want to be allowed to pass versus being resuscitated.
Medical Proxies assign someone you choose as a “medical decision maker.” If you become incapacitated and can’t make decisions for yourself, the person you have chosen can make those decisions for you. (This is why it’s important to have your thoughts documented and to discuss your wishes with your friends and family.)
Durable Powers of Attorney (POA) can provide powers of attorney to a person of your choice should you become medically incapacitated. This person, while you are incapacitated, can make bank transactions, sign and endorse checks, and apply for disability benefits for you.
Last Will and Testament
Simply put, a Last Will and Testament is a legal document that states a person’s final wishes, especially relating to assets and dependents. They’re easy to put off till later, and they can often be overlooked as our lives, and the people in them, change. Without a Last Will and Testament, though, bureaucratic nightmares can rapidly overwhelm a grieving family. Wills are usually straight-forward to have prepared. They are important for everyone, but they are critically important if you have dependents.
Do you have any of these documents prepared? Does your family and closest friends know how you feel about life-extending care, resuscitation efforts, etc.? Does anyone else in your life have the legal authority to make decisions for you if you aren’t capable of making them for yourself?
If you have questions and would like to schedule a free, no obligation consultation, Dirk Padgett Law is here to help. Contact us today.
This content is for basic informational purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.