Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to clearly articulate your preferences regarding lifesaving medical interventions. Many people don’t include advance directives when estate planning, but they are crucial documents that can save your family heartache during a medical crisis. No one wants to force their family to make a hasty decision under extreme duress. I have more than 20 years of experience advising clients throughout on the various contingencies they can address in an advance directive. I can help you to draft clear instructions so that a specific plan exists for your treatment if you lose the ability to communicate.
Advance directives can set forth instructions on various matters and come in several forms, including:
- Living wills. A living will states what kind of medical care you are to receive should you be too sick or injured to express your wishes. It is not a will in the conventional sense, as it does not distribute property and is meant to be executed while the person is alive.
- Durable powers of attorney. In the event that you are not able to participate in decisions about your medical treatment or financial matters, durable powers of attorney authorize someone you trust to make choices on your behalf.
- Do not resuscitate orders. If someone is terminally ill or too frail to recover from physically taxing forms of intervention, a DNR instructs medical personnel to refrain from performing CPR and other lifesaving measures.
I will take the time to discuss each of these options so that you can be comfortable that every item you wish to address is covered appropriately.
Through the years, there have been numerous stories in the media detailing protracted court battles among family members over the treatment of incapacitated relatives. I can formulate documents clearly enough that there will be no room for misinterpretation or argument. This way, your family can avoid expensive litigation and move forward.