Many people understand the importance of estate planning to protect their assets, but with the proper planning, you can also make sure your medical care is handled according to your wishes, in the event you’re unable to make those decisions for yourself.
In most states, if a person becomes unable to make these decisions, the responsibility will fall to a spouse. If a spouse isn’t available, the decision would be made by the person’s adult children. If you’re unmarried and/or you don’t have adult children, you may want to think about who you’d like to make decisions on your behalf.
How a living will can help
When you establish a living will your wishes will be clear. Ultimately, if you are no longer able to communicate your wishes regarding your medical care, the living will, can help outline what types of care you do or do not want to receive.
This can include things like whether you want to receive intravenous food and water, or if you want to establish a DNR (do not resuscitate).
Naming a health care proxy
A health care proxy is a person of your choosing that will be granted the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf, should you be unable to do so. Most people name one or more successors, in the event the original proxy is unavailable to make these decisions, or they cannot perform this duty.
When you choose a health care proxy you’ll want to pick someone you trust. You’ll also want to make sure you tell them what types of treatment you would or wouldn’t want.
You’ll want to discuss your positions on palliative care, mechanical ventilation, organ donation, tube feeding and resuscitation.
In some cases, the living will, and the medical power of attorney will be combined into the same document. In other instances, the documents will be kept separate. If the documents are kept separate, you’ll want to make sure to provide you health care proxy with a copy of the medical POA.
This will help ensure your proxy will be permitted to make medical decisions on your behalf, if needed.
Estate planning in Denver, CO
If you have questions about estate planning in Denver or you’d like to know more about how a living will can ensure your wishes regarding health care are adhered to, we can help.
When you contact The Law Network PC you’ll be working with a team of seasoned estate planning attorneys that understand that each client’s needs are different. We’ll take as much time as needed to answer your questions and address your concerns, because we want you to be fully informed of your legal options. This will allow you to make the best possible decisions with regard to your estate plan.