As we all know, the primary purpose of estate planning is to prepare your assets to be distributed to your loved ones upon your passing. But at the same time, when you are considering your legacy it is important to have all of your bases covered. For this reason estate planning attorneys during this era will usually suggest that their clients execute documents called advance health care directives.
These days medical science can do some amazing things, and each person has different desires regarding the types of medical procedures that they are willing to accept or deny should they become catastrophically ill. If you think back to the case of Terri Schiavo that was so widely publicized during the earlier portion of the 2000s you get a good idea of how important these documents are. Ms. Schiavo fell into a vegetative state after suffering full cardiac arrest and was being kept alive via the use of feeding tubes.
She remained in this condition for some eight years before her husband decided that she would not want to go on like this any further, and he wanted the doctors to remove the tubes. Terri’s parents disagreed with this course of action; a lengthy and bitter legal battle ensued.
If Terri Schiavo had advance health care directives in place, the disagreement between her loved ones would never have been necessary. The advance directives that are most widely utilized are a living will and a durable medical power of attorney. With a living will you are able to assert your wishes regarding things like being kept alive through the use of feeding tubes. With the durable Medical Power of Attorney you appoint an attorney-in-fact who is empowered to make medical decisions in your behalf should you become unable to make them for yourself.
To learn more about Advance Health Care Directives, simply arrange for a consultation with a qualified estate planning attorney.