5 [Must Have] Healthcare Directives for Estate Plan | Lyman Law Office
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Healthcare Directives to Include in Your Estate Plan

May 17, 2019

As you go through the process of planning your estate, one of the factors you’re going to have to consider is the kind of medical care you do and do not want to receive in an end-of-life situation. You can include documents in your estate plan that provide a detailed overview of your wishes if such a scenario arises, which can make matters easier on both your loved ones and your medical providers.

Here are just a few examples of some healthcare directives you can establish for your estate plan with the assistance of a skilled attorney in Phoenix, AZ:

  • Living will: A living will is a document in which you clearly state the kinds of medical care you do or do not wish to receive if you are unable to make your own decisions regarding your healthcare. The term “living will” indicates it is a legal document that establishes your wishes, in much the same way a traditional will does, but that it’s in effect while you are alive and incapacitated, rather than after your death.
  • Durable power of attorney for healthcare: Also referred to as medical power of attorney, this document allows you to name a person who will make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. The person with this power is referred to as your agent. Your agent can either act in accordance with your living will, or make any decisions about healthcare matters that you have not expressly articulated yourself. Your agent should be someone you trust implicitly to make medical decisions you would make yourself if you were capable of doing so.
  • Advance directives: Advance directives are essentially a combination of living wills and durable power of attorney for healthcare. Many states combine these two documents into one single form known as advance healthcare directives.
  • Do not resuscitate (DNR) orders: A DNR order informs emergency medical personnel that you do not wish to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event of a medical emergency. Obviously, there are specific circumstances in which this type of order applies—it must be clear that it’s in an end-of-life scenario and that the life-prolonging CPR treatment would not do much for your outlook. Your doctor can add a DNR order to your medical record so all caregivers know not to provide CPR in such situations.
  • POLST: A physician’s orders for life-sustaining treatment (POLST) form allows you to state your wishes for how you’ll be cared for in the event of a medical emergency. Your POLST form allows you to go into much more detail than a DNR order about what care you wish to receive, including information about antibiotic treatment, intubation and feeding tubes.

To learn more about the various healthcare directives you may wish to implement in your estate plan and how you execute these types of documents, we encourage you to reach out to Lyman Law Office today to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney in Phoenix.

We look forward to assisting you soon.

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