A healthcare crisis can occur at any age. Planning for your future can protect your loved ones by letting them know your wishes if you become seriously ill or incapacitate. A recent study found that nearly 1 in 5 people (19.3%) do not know what an advanced health care directive is. A comprehensive estate plan should include an advance healthcare directive, which provides guidance for your family and medical professionals if a situation occurs where you can no longer make your own health care decisions. A directive takes the pressure of making difficult decisions away from your family members. Not everyone wants to use emergency treatments and life-sustaining technology. A healthcare directive lets people know your wishes.
An advanced medical directive is a legal document that informs your family and doctors how you want your medical and end-of-life care to be handled if you are unable to participate in your own decision-making. A Medical POA allows another named individual to make healthcare decisions for you. These two types of documents are a type of advanced healthcare planning, which say what actions should be taken regarding your health and medical treatment if you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself due to illness or incapacitation.
Advanced healthcare directives are living documents that you can update and change as your situation changes.
Health Care Proxy
If you become incapacitated, who do you trust to make your health care decisions? If you don’t appoint a health care proxy, the courts will assign someone to make your medical decisions – and it may not be a person you trust. A Healthcare Power of Attorney is a durable power of attorney, a legal device that allows one person to indefinitely make decisions on behalf of another.
Medical Power of Attorney
A Medical POA is a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a signed, witnessed legal document where someone designates an agent to make health care decisions if they are temporarily or permanently unable to make such medical decisions. A durable power of attorney for health care lasts indefinitely and the person granting the POA authority typically retains the power to revoke it.
An Illinois estate planning lawyer can help you create an advanced healthcare directive. Consulting an experienced probate, trust and estates attorney in Chicago or Lombard can give you protection and peace of mind. Contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835.
You can learn more about these documents by visiting Caring.com’s Guide to Advanced Health Care Directives.