Advance Health Care Directives
Don’t put unnecessary burdens on your family; plan now for the events you can’t predict. Properly drafted advance health care directives are especially crucial. In a medical emergency, the choices to be made can be overwhelming. Don’t leave your loved ones struggling to come to consensus on your unexpressed wishes while they are absorbing the emotional impact of an accident or illness.
Health Care Proxy
Health care proxy documents appoint another person to make health care decisions on your behalf if you can no longer make them yourself. The person taking on the role and the legal document that appoints him or her are called a “health care proxy.” The person is also sometimes called an “agent.” Most often, your chosen agent receives full legal authority, but health care proxy documentation can be drafted with great specificity, giving the agent as much or as little authority as you wish.
A health care proxy can help make sure that health care providers follow your wishes during your treatment. Your agent can also make decisions about how those wishes apply as your medical condition changes. Taking the step of appointing a person as health care proxy can also help resolve any potential disagreements between your family members about your care and their interpretation of your wishes. If the situation becomes fraught, your agent can focus critical decision-making on him- or herself while speaking with your voice.
Power of Attorney
A properly drafted durable power of attorney ensures that you control who makes legal and financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated. Often, in medical emergencies, families focus all their energy and time on medical decisions — as they should. Yet life outside the hospital room doesn’t slow down, and often there are legal and financial issues that remain unaddressed until the medical crisis passes, which results in the loss of valuable assets and unrecoverable time.
Our dedicated staff of attorneys and case managers stands ready with answers, advice and assistance in drafting your advance directives. These are difficult issues, and you should consult your family beforehand or bring them along to the consultation.