End of life planning does not have to be a long, drawn-out or complicated process. By working with an experienced attorney, you can rest assured that your estate and healthcare wishes are followed to a T when the time comes. The advance directive attorneys at Simms Showers LLP can help bring you this peace of mind.
What is an Advance Directive?
An advance directive is an end of life document that outlines what treatment you wish to have or not have if you become medically incapacitated due to an injury, illness, or psychiatric condition. An example of when an advance directive could be used is following a stroke that leaves you in a coma. Loved ones and family members are often taken aback when it comes time to make medical decisions in times of trauma and high emotions such as these. An advance directive alleviates pressure your loved ones may feel, while ensuring that you receive the treatment that you wish. Medical treatments that are often included in advance directives include:
- Do not resuscitate (DNR) orders;
- Tube feeding;
- Organ and tissue donation; and
- Palliative care.
The Mayo Clinic recommends updating your advance healthcare directive every ten years, if you have a change in marital status, or whenever you receive a new diagnosis.
The Difference Between an Advance Healthcare Directive and a Durable Power of Attorney
An advance directive is a legal document that specifies what medical treatment, or lack thereof, you wish to have should you become incapacitated. A power of attorney, on the other hand, simply designates a specific person to make these decisions for you. There are pros and cons of both advance health directives, and a power of attorney. However, one of the main benefits to an advance directive is that it specifically outlines what must happen in a given circumstance. It leaves no room for doubt, and no margin for any party to do something other than what is written in the directive. You retain complete control with an advance directive, whereas a power of attorney gives that control to another person.
Why You Should Consider an Advance Healthcare Directive
Too few people discuss their end of life wishes with their family members, and fewer still create legal documents like advance healthcare directives or powers of attorney to plan for their end of life care. In fact, only a third of adults have an advance health directive, according to NPR. Furthermore, a survey found that people who are chronically ill are only slightly more likely to have an advance directive.
Contact Our Leesburg Attorneys for Help
Ensure that you get the healthcare treatments you wish by creating an advance directive. Advance directives take away any confusion or doubts that your loved ones may have when it comes to your healthcare wishes. You can give them, and yourself, peace of mind by creating and regularly updating your advance healthcare directive with the attorneys at Simms Showers LLP. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.