You want your medical care wishes to be honored, even if you aren’t able to communicate them. For this reason, it is essential to have an advance healthcare directive as part of your estate plan. This document does a couple of things. It allows you to name someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make them yourself, and it also allows you to describe what life-saving healthcare measures you want if you become ill or injured.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
Since you can’t foresee all of the possible healthcare situations that may arise, it is important to name someone you trust as your healthcare power of attorney. You can choose to give your healthcare power of attorney the authority to make any decision on your behalf, or you can limit the power of attorney’s decision-making authority. You should consider whether you want your power of attorney to:
- Consent to any care, including diagnostic tests and medical treatments
- Select your doctors and hospitals
- Decide whether to provide artificial nutrition and hydration or CPR
- Donate your organs
- Authorize an autopsy
- Direct what to do with your body after death
You should also consider naming a backup healthcare power of attorney in case your first choice is unable to do the job when needed.
Advance Medical Directives
Not everything has to be left to your healthcare power of attorney. You can provide specific directions about anything you wish, including but not limited to:
- Pain relief
- Use of a ventilator or feeding tube
- End-of-life decisions
- Donations of organs and tissues
You must sign the document in front of at least two witnesses.
Talk to a Lawyer to Create This Important Document
Advance healthcare directives are customizable. You have the right to have your exact wishes reflected in the document. However, whatever you put into the document is legally binding unless you revoke it.
Therefore, it is critical that you talk to a lawyer. That way, you can be sure that your wishes are honored and that your family does not have to guess about what you would want to be done. Attorney Nicole D’Ambrogi works with compassion, understanding, and empathy to make sure that your legal documents accurately reflect your wishes. Contact San Diego Legacy Law today to learn more.