07 Mar Estate Planning Documents for Medical Emergencies
Life and its challenges are unpredictable, which is why it’s a good idea to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Creating estate planning documents is a great way to prepare for life’s worst-case scenarios. When it comes to planning for something as unpredictable as medical emergencies, the best documents to create are a health care power of attorney and living will.
What is a health care power of attorney?
A health care power of attorney is an estate planning document used to prepare for worst-case medical scenarios. This document authorizes someone to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated.
What are the benefits of having a health care power of attorney?
The main benefit of having a health care power of attorney is the document’s ability to prevent conflicts. If a person becomes incapacitated, their loved ones may have different ideas on what decisions the person would have made for themselves in their situation. This could lead to arguments or a court case in order to determine who has the right to make medical decisions for the incapacitated person. Having a health care power of attorney makes an already difficult situation easier by clearly granting the decision making power to a predetermined person.
Jane is 35 years old. Yesterday, she was in a car accident and is currently incapacitated. She doesn’t have a health care power of attorney. Jane’s fiance, John, wants to make medical decisions on her behalf. Her parents also want to make the decisions for their incapacitated daughter. So, who has the right to make Jane’s medical decisions? Jane’s parents and John go to court to find out. They no longer speak to each other because of the conflict created by Jane’s lack of a health care power of attorney document. It’s family warfare, which could’ve easily been prevented with a little estate planning.
What is a living will?
A living will is an estate planning document. It’s used to express if and when you would or would not like life-sustaining measures taken on your behalf. It’s a way for a person to express what they want in advance of a medical emergency. Unlike a health care power of attorney, this document does not give someone the authority to make decisions for you.
What are the benefits of having a living will?
Creating a living will provides a variety of benefits in the event of a medical emergency. For example, a living will enables you to predetermine what you’d like to happen in the event you need life-sustaining care. If you make important decisions about life-sustaining care in advance, your family won’t have to make the decision for you if something happens. This helps to prevent family conflict and turmoil.
Dan is a 30-year-old man. He’s young, so he’s never considered the possibility he could need life-sustaining care. Dan was in a skiing accident. He does not have a living will in place. As of right now, Dan needs life-sustaining care, but his parents are unsure if he would’ve wanted to receive the care. They’re hesitant to make a decision. If Dan had a living will in place, his parents would’ve known what kind of care he would’ve liked to receive in the event he needed artificial means, such as a respirator, to stay alive. Then, they wouldn’t have to make the decision for him.
How can Boyum Law Firm help you?
Medical emergencies are unpredictable. However, you can lessen the impact life’s worst-case scenarios will have on you and your family by creating a health care power of attorney and living will. To contact Boyum Law Firm for help with creating these two estate planning documents and more, click here.