Advanced Healthcare Directive Attorneys in Chesterfield, MO, Guiding Clients Through the Process of Recording Their Healthcare Wishes
We all hope for a long, healthy life and love making plans for the future. But have you ever considered what would happen if life took an unexpected turn and you found yourself in an incapacitated state? Would your loved ones know what to do and what your wishes would be? Learn why having an advanced healthcare directive is an important step to record your medical wishes for care, why it can bring you more peace of mind to enjoy life, and how an attorney can help you with the drafting process.
What Is an Advanced Healthcare Directive?
An advanced healthcare directive is a set of documents that work together to form a written record of your wishes for how you would prefer to be treated if you became incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. Your advanced healthcare directive contains a variety of documents, such as a living will and a durable power of attorney.
These documents allow you to express your preferences for which doctor, nursing home, or hospital you would prefer and the type of care you wish to receive. You can add instructions such as whether you wish to receive CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), be placed on artificial life support, mechanical respiration, artificial nutrition through tube feeding, palliative care, and other important life-sustaining medical treatment aspects should you become temporarily or permanently unconscious. You can also appoint a family member to serve as your agent and make healthcare decisions on your behalf, and you can also appoint an additional agent to make financial decisions for you.
Why Do I Need an Advanced Healthcare Directive if I Am Not Critically Ill?
While it is true that nobody likes to think about being sick or terminally ill, having a plan and a written record of your wishes can give you greater peace of mind and also allow your family to be more confident and know what to do should a healthcare crisis or accident occur. An advanced healthcare directive would serve as a guide and help your loved ones feel like they are respecting your wishes.
In addition, by appointing a family member as your agent, you can greatly reduce the chance of family conflict and avoid a situation where each family member has a different opinion about what you would have wanted them to do. You can also avoid a situation that would go against your will, such as a family member choosing to place you on life support or dialysis when you would rather not be subjected to this type of medical care. Lastly, if you have specific religious or cultural preferences concerning medical care and end-of-life care, your advanced healthcare directive would allow you to put those in writing and have greater peace of mind knowing your wishes would be respected.
Why Can’t I Just Add Healthcare Instructions to My Last Will?
Some people may want to add end-of-life care and funeral preferences to their last will. While that can absolutely be done, your last will is not the best place to add this type of information as it is usually found and read days, sometimes weeks, after a funeral has already taken place. When a healthcare crisis strikes, most family members and healthcare professionals will likely not think about locating and reading your last will and testament in search of answers for what they should do while you are still alive.
Your last will is the proper place to leave instructions concerning how your assets should be divided among your beneficiaries after you pass away. An advanced healthcare directive lets your family and doctors know your preferences for medical care while you are still alive. Both documents are important parts of your overall estate plan, but they each perform different functions. If you are unsure about what type of documents you need for your advanced healthcare directive or how each of them works, speak to an advanced healthcare directive lawyer to get answers and guidance to begin the process.
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
Drafting your advanced healthcare directive documents is a critical step in the process of creating your estate plans, as it can help you receive the care you need while you are still alive. In addition, it can provide your family with peace of mind rather than leaving them without knowing what to do in a healthcare crisis. However, it is understandable that thinking about this type of situation can be unpleasant and overwhelming for many people.
At the Mid-America Law Practice, LLC, we understand the challenges you may face when creating an advanced healthcare directive, and we are here to help. Our advanced healthcare directive lawyers can help you draft your documents and guide you through the entire process, always being sensitive to your specific cultural and religious preferences. If you are ready to get started or have questions, reach out to our law firm in Chesterfield, MO, by calling (314) 347-3567 and requesting a free consultation to get answers and see how we can help you.