Take Control of Your Important Health Care Decisions

July 11, 2016

Do you want life support if you become totally and permanently incapacitated? Who do you want making health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so? A living will and health care power of attorney will help answer those questions, but it is important to have those documents prepared before the onset of a health crisis. The laws and even the names of certain legal forms may vary by state or province. Contact your LegalShield provider law firm to learn more about the laws where you live and how to best protect your wishes.  A living will, sometimes known as a health care declaration or advance directive, is a legal document that allows you to specify in writing the kinds of life-sustaining treatments you are or are not willing to receive should you become incapacitated. Specific treatments may include feeding tubes, dialysis, resuscitation or breathing machines.  It is impossible to foresee every possible medical challenge you may face. A health care power of attorney allows you to appoint an agent or proxy to make medical decisions on your behalf. Unlike a general durable power of attorney, a health care power of attorney is limited to medical decisions only. It is important to pick someone who is comfortable with his or her role as your proxy and understands your wishes. It is also important to pick an alternate agent in the event your primary agent is unable to serve.  The laws where you live will determine which forms will best protect your wishes. It is always important to discuss your wishes with your family and your health care providers. Many doctors’ offices and hospitals now require patients to complete a living will or health care POA. If you need assistance or have any questions contact your LegalShield provider law firm today.