When it comes to estate planning, it’s hard to know what documents you need versus those that are not necessary for your individual situation. The only way to know for sure is to schedule a meeting with an estate planning lawyer directly. That way you can share your interests and desires and the lawyer can help you pick the documents necessary for protecting your future and your intentions for your assets. Two of the documents you might discuss during this meeting are the healthcare power of attorney and a living will.
It is strongly recommended that any person have both a health care representative appointment and an advanced medical directive. These documents do not accomplish the same goals. While they may overlap in some of the responsibilities outlined in the documents, they offer different benefits. There are two primary types of advanced medical directives and these deal with end of life decisions.
Although the living will is the most common, some states do allow for the life-prolonging procedure declaration. Advanced medical directives allow you as the creator to provide clear guidance about how life decisions should be handled and what types of care should be provided to you or avoided. This allows you to tell both your doctors and your family members what kind of care you do want at the end of your life. A healthcare power of attorney, however, can be part of a representative appointment or the same goals can be included in a durable power of attorney. Both of these enable someone else to make medical decisions for you in the event that you cannot make them on your own. This includes all medical care decisions regarding end of life. Consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney is strongly recommended if you have a goal of establishing these concerns early on.