When you think about estate planning, wills, trusts, and other traditional estate planning documents probably come to mind. You may even think about a guardian for your minor children if you pass away. An integral part of estate planning, however, relates to your health care while you are still alive. In order to ensure that you receive the health care that you want in emergency situations, as well as relieve your family members from making these difficult decisions, you need to have certain advanced directives in place.
The purpose of an advance directive is to express your wishes for health care in different situations when you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to express your wishes. There are a number of different documents that constitute advance directives. These documents include a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare or Patient Advocate Designation, a Do-Not-Resuscitate Order, and a HIPAA Authorization Form.
A Durable Power of Attorney or Patient Advocate Designation is a legally binding document that allows you to choose a person to make medical decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so. If you don’t have this document in place, then you run the risk of doctors being required to provide you with medical care that you don’t really want to receive in certain situations.
A Do-Not-Resuscitate Order (DNR) tells medical personnel that you don’t want to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event that you stop breathing or your heart stops beating. If you don’t have a DNR in place, then medical personnel will take all measures to preserve your life, which in some situations, you may not want to happen.
A HIPAA Authorization Form allows you to designate a person or persons whom you wish to receive medical information about you. This is particularly helpful if you are unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to communicate necessary medical information to your family members or loved ones.
Legacy Law Center handles all facets of estate planning for clients on a daily basis. We know how to best advise you, based on your circumstances, about the options for estate planning that are best for you and your family. Take the first step and call our office today to set up a meeting time with one of our Michigan estate planning attorneys.
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