An advanced directive is also known as a living will. It is part of the estate planning process and essentially gives an individual the authority to make health care decisions for you in the event you are unable to make your own decisions. If you are beginning the estate planning process or need to update estate planning documents you created in the past, the estate planning attorneys at Mike J. Demers, PLLC, can help incorporate an advanced directive and power of attorney as part of the process.
Benefits of an Advanced Directive
Regardless of your age or health, there are a wide variety of reasons to have an advanced directive in place. An accident or sudden health issue can leave anyone incapacitated. Mental disorders and illnesses can also lead to the inability to make responsible health care choices. The effects of age alone can also lead to incapacitation. The choices that need to be made can involve treatment options, end of life care, or specific life saving measures you either want or are opposed to. An advanced directive may also express desires related to nursing homes and hospice care.
When an advanced directive and power of attorney for the purpose of health care choices is drafted, it is vital that the person appointed in the directive be responsible and trustworthy. It is also recommended that the person is someone who can remain calm under pressure and abide by your wishes without emotional conflict. That person should also be trusted to avoid being swayed or influenced by family members or others who may want different decisions to be made. Without an advanced directive or power of attorney in place when one would be needed, the courts may have to intervene and make vital health care choices for you. Family battles and conflicting positions may also emerge and cause rifts that could have easily been prevented.
Drafting a Living Will/Advanced Directive
While no one likes the idea of being in a position of not being able to express his or her own wishes related to health care, anyone may find themselves in that very position at any time. As with most legal documents drafted for your own protection, it is better to have an advanced directive and power of attorney in place and not need it instead of needing one and not having it.
At the Law Office of Mike J. Demers, PLLC, we know the sensitivity that is needed and the personal nature of making decisions related to estate planning. We will take the time necessary to explain the details of an advanced directive and power of attorney and help ensure you fully understand the benefits of having one. We will draft the necessary documents so you and your family can rest assured your estate planning needs, including an advanced directive and power of attorney, are in place when and if they are ever needed.