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Two Kinds of Advanced Directives

September 23, 2019

Filed under: Estate Planning — Laura Pennington @ 9:15 am

Did you know that there are two ways you can explain your wishes should something happen to you and you are unable to advocate for yourself? Most people overlook some of the estate planning tools designed to help you while you’re still alive, but these can be the most important when loved ones are stepping in to make decisions for you.

Advanced directives are important for everyone, since a sudden accident could mean that your family ends up facing the difficult situation of deciding on your medical care. It is very important that if you have specific wishes or concerns surrounding your medical care that you communicate them to your family in the written form with an advanced medical directive.

The first kind of advance directive is known as a living will. It details the preferences you have for various types of life-sustaining treatments. You can articulate whether you want to be on support like respiration, cardiac resuscitation, or tube feeding.

A power of attorney, on the other hand, allows you to name the person who can make medical decisions for you if you cannot, for any reason, speak up for yourself. You can also create a separate power of attorney if you want to name someone to have control over your financial decisions and a different person to be appointed with these medical agent powers.

If you’re torn between the two and have someone you trust to make these choices for you, the power of attorney might be more appropriate since you can’t easily predict every situation that might come up.

Certain family members, however, might not feel comfortable making these decisions for you, especially if it relates to life-prolonging care. The difficult situation of being concerned about you could even be amplified by other family members or loved ones who disagree with the decision made by the power of attorney agent.

Our office can help you discuss and draft a power of attorney document. Schedule a consultation today with our firm to learn more.

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