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While it is hard to think about end-of-life affairs, death is an essential part of life. When you die, it is hard to imagine how your loved ones will handle the aftermath. Your advance health directives provide them with a set of instructions regarding how to handle certain medical decisions.
Your family members may rely on an advance health directives if any of the below examples happens to a family member:
- Terminal illness
- Life support decisions
- Organ donation preferences
- Ceremonial preferences
- Burial or cremation preferences
Your family members will already be stressed during this difficult time, so make things easier on them by creating an advance health directive. Everything you need to know is contained within the article below.
What is an Advance Health Directive?
Advance health directives, also called a “living will,” is a personal directive that you leave to your medical power of attorney to make medical decisions as your healthcare proxy if you are unable to do so in a hospital. You can appoint your healthcare proxy through a durable power of attorney. An advance health directive generally prescribes how to handle specific medical events, such as a terminal illness, as you would if you could consciously make them.
Who Needs an Advance Health Directive?
Everyone should have an advance health directive since everyone has legal rights and may face medical events in the blink of an eye. While it may not be readily apparent, your advance health directive is an essential gift to your loved one. Instead of fretting about your condition as well as making medical decisions, they will have a signed piece of paper in your words that take this burden off their plate.
Here’s another article about advance health directives.
Types of Advance Directives
Advance directives were designed to allow someone to make decisions in your absence regarding every area of your life. If you become incapacitated, your healthcare proxy is better off having authority and direction so that they can follow through on your wishes. There are different types of advance health and financial directives that you will want to create in a comprehensive estate plan.
Types of advance directives include:
- Financial power of attorney
- Advance financial directive
- Medical power of attorney
- Advance health directive
- Living will
You should also name an individual you trust implicitly, such as a spouse, parent, or adult-aged child. The person you name in these directives will essentially have complete control over your health and finances. Ensure that you have the right person in place.
This article also discusses advance directives.
Parts of an Advance Health Directive
There are key components that every advance health directive should contain to serve its intended purpose. Carefully consider the decisions that you will have to make. It can be unpleasant to think about some of these issues, but it is essential that your family has guidance and support in your voice during an already emotionally difficult moment.
Parts of an advance directive include:
- State your name
- Acknowledge of authority
- Ceremonial and burial/cremation preferences
- Living will directives for terminal conditions and vegetative states
- Other wishes related to organ donations and autopsies
- Signature and dateline
- Witness signature and dateline
Upon signing, your advance health directive is active. Make sure that your durable power of attorney understands expectations and offers clarity if they have questions. A thorough strategy always achieves better results when it comes to estate planning.
You will also want to become familiar with key terms specific to advance health directives, such as:
- Term 1. Advance health directive
- Term 2. Artificial life support
- Term 3. Durable power of attorney
- Term 4. End-of-life-care
- Term 5. Living will
- Term 6. Organ donation
- Term 7. Persistent vegetative state
- Term 8. Terminal health condition
- Term 9. Tissue donation
Upon completing your advance health directive, do not share it with your medical provider. If you later decide to update your advance health directive, and they have an old copy on file, your doctor will use that one instead. You simply need to let your loved ones know that you have an advance health directive in case the unthinkable happens.
Here’s an article about medical and financial directives.
Examples of an Advance Health Directive
Advanced health directives address any medical situation that you could face in an unconscious or limited state. These directives are provided to a trusted individual, like a partner, spouse, or adult child, who can carry them out according to your wishes. There are more specific scenarios that come into play when using an advance health directive.
Five examples of when you would use an advance health directive include:
- Indicating that you want to donate your body to science
- Providing instructions to a spouse in case you’re on life support
- Communicating how you would like to handle end-of-life affairs
- Specifying which organs you are comfortable donating to science
- Establishing whether or not to leave your body on life support
There are other situations in which you may rely on a health directive. However, they are generally limited to end-of-life medical decisions. Do not feel guilty about expressing your true desires and get help with advance health directives from a licensed attorney in your state.
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Get Help with an Advance Health Directive
Get help with an advance health directive by speak with estate planning lawyers . Not only is it a smart, practical way to handle things legally, but they also offer reassurance. They will guarantee that your loved ones have the information they need to make decisions on your behalf.
Here are a few other compelling reasons as to why you should hire estate planning lawyers to get help with an advance health directive.
How Estate Planning Lawyers Help
If you think about it, hiring an attorney is a way to pay someone else to take on your legal problems. Your lawyer has a legal obligation and duty to not take any legal chances. It becomes their liability and problem otherwise, which leaves your family in the clear should an issue arise after your passing.
Estate planning lawyers can also help you tackle other issues related to your end-of-life affairs, including:
- Avoiding probate
- Taking tax advantages
- Transferring wealth
- Protecting your assets
- Providing for your family
- Legal drafting of documents
- Public notary services
Your attorney can draft a living trust, pour-over will, last will and testament, advance health directives, and powers of attorney . Consider discussing your case with a legal professional as soon as possible. Doing so will help you install an advance health directive as quickly as possible while considering all of your legal needs and desires.
Cost of Hiring Estate Planning Lawyers
The legal industry is responding to consumer demands. Estate planning lawyers can draft your health directives for a fairly affordable fixed cost. However, you may decide to draft a more comprehensive estate plan, which can significantly increase your fixed costs.
Other Estate Planning Documents
You may have other legal needs to fulfill when it comes to estate planning. Your attorney will incorporate them into your overall project to ensure that every objective is accounted for. They can offer suggestions, strategies, and insights that you will not find online.
Meet some of our Advance Health Directive Lawyers
Brandon is a Texas Super Lawyer®, meaning he is among the top 2.5% of attorneys in his state. He has designed his practice to provide a unique ecosystem of legal support services to business and entrepreneurs, derived from his background as a federal district law clerk, published biochemist, and industry lecturer. Brandon is fluent in Spanish, an Eagle Scout, and actively involved with the youth in his community. He loves advocating for his clients and thinks he may never choose to retire.
Firm rated best ADR firm for Wisconsin and won an award for cultural innovation in dispute resolution from acquisition international magazine in 2016 and it was rated "Best of Brookfield" by Best Businesses in 2015. Attorney Maxwell C. Livingston was rated 10 best in Labor & Employment Law by American Institute of Legal Counsel and 40 Under 40 by American Society of Legal Advocates for 2016; he also won 10 Best by American Institute of Family Law Attorneys. He is licensed in Wisconsin in all state and federal courts, and in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, wherein he won a landmark decision in McCray v. Wielke.
Richard is a wizard at taking on bureaucracies and simply getting the job done. His clients value his straight-forward counsel and his ability to leverage a top-notch legal staff for efficient and effective results. Richard is a professional engineer, professor of law, and has been named among the top 2.5% of attorneys in Texas by the Super Lawyers®. When he is not driving results for his clients, Richard can be found with his small herd on his Texas homestead.
Experienced attorney and tax analyst with a history of working in the government and private industry. Skilled in Public Speaking, Contract Law, Corporate Governance, and Contract Negotiation. Strong professional graduate from Penn State Law.
I am an attorney admitted in NY, with over 6 years of experience drafting, reviewing and negotiating a wide array of contracts and agreements. I have experience in Sports and Entertainment, Real Estate, Healthcare, Estate Planning and with Startup Companies. I am confident I can assist you with all of your legal needs.
Rishma D. Eckert, Esq. is a business law attorney who primarily represents domestic and international companies and entrepreneurs. A native of both Belize and Guyana, she remains engaged with the Caribbean community in South Florida: as a Board Member and General Counsel for the Belize American Chamber of Commerce of Florida, and Member of the Guyanese American Chamber of Commerce. She holds a Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B.) from the University of Guyana in South America, a Master’s degree in International and Comparative Law (LL.M.) from Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida, and earned a Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) from St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami, Florida. Licensed to practice in the State of Florida and the Federal Court in the Southern District of Florida, Mrs. Eckert focuses her passion and practice on domestic and international corporate structuring and incorporation, corporate governance, contract negotiation and drafting, and trademark and copyright registrations.
Mark A. Addington focuses his practice primarily on employment litigation, including contractual disputes, restrictive covenants (such as non-competition, non-solicitation, or confidential information restrictions), defense of wage and hour, harassment, retaliatory discharge, disability, age, religion, race, and sex discrimination.