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Psychiatric Advance Directives

Published February 24, 2022

There are several advance directives that an estate planning attorney will recommend for clients, including a Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, and Living Will.  For individuals that receive treatment for their mental health, an additional advance directive may be appropriate.  A Psychiatric Advance Directive, also known as a mental health advance directive, is a legal document that allows an individual to state their preferences for treatment in advance of a mental health crisis.  In such a time of crisis, when an individual is unable make their wishes known regarding their psychiatric medical care, the Psychiatric Advance Directive would come into play.

This legal document allows an individual to appoint an agent to effectuate their wishes and also detail their preferred hospitals, treatments, and medications.  As an example, if the individual knows they react negatively to a specific medication but have had success with another medication, this information would be useful for a treating doctor to know and for the agent to direct the doctor.  Without such a directive, a treating doctor may use medication and/or force treatment that the individual would otherwise not wish to have.

If you are interested in having a Psychiatric Advance Directive in place, the attorneys at Littman Krooks LLP can help.  Contact us for a consultation to discuss the appropriate estate plan for you.

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