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Advance directives, living wills and medical powers of attorney

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2021 | Elder Law |

No one can know what the future holds but having a plan in place for the what-ifs is an important step in long-term care planning.

There are many options for ensuring family members and medical professionals are aware of your wishes.

Advance directives

Decisions about long-term care are best made ahead of time and you should consider your options earlier rather than later. One way to record your choices is with an advance directive, a legal document that provides details regarding how you want to receive care in the event you become incapacitated by a serious illness or disability.

Living wills

An advance directive is a broad category of healthcare instructions that includes many types of documents. One such document is a living will, which is specifically used in cases of a terminal illness. It outlines your wishes for end-of-life care in the event you are unable to make medical decisions. It can include religious preferences, as well as the duration of time you want to be on life support.

Medical powers of attorney

If you want to designate a loved one or another individual as the decision-maker for your healthcare needs, you may consider completing a medical power of attorney. This document is another type of advance directive. It allows you to choose an agent to make medical decisions for you if you are unable.

These examples have slight variations, making each suitable in different situations. If you wish, you can also use them in combination with each other to create a long-term care plan that suits your unique needs.

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