Healthcare Directives: An Overview

Even under the best circumstances, certain situations may require family members to make tough decisions about their loved one's end-of-life care. Having an advance healthcare directive in place can help prevent unnecessary stress during this already challenging time. Keep reading to learn more about this important aspect of estate planning, courtesy of the team at O'Donnell Law Center.

What Is A Healthcare Directive?

Simply put, a healthcare directive is an official document outlining how you would like your healthcare to be handled. In the event that you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions for yourself or to communicate your wishes to others, this document will guide your named health care agent as he or she makes decisions on your behalf.

What's Included In A Healthcare Directive?

Typically, healthcare directives utilize a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and a Healthcare Declaration / Living Will to identify several elements pertaining to your healthcare, including:
  • What types of treatments / medications you would like to receive and/or withhold
  • What types of life sustaining treatment (if any) you would like to receive
These two categories serve as broad generalizations for the types of information covered in healthcare directives. When drafting a directive, care must be taken to drill down and address many details within these (and other) categories.

What Do I Need?

In order to establish a comprehensive and binding healthcare directive, we suggest consulting with an estate planning attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks.  You will want to make sure the directive is personalized to fit your specific needs, and that it appoints a trusted friend or family member as healthcare agent to act as your representative if you can no longer act for yourself.

This representative (known as your "Healthcare Power of Attorney") will be the one to make healthcare decisions on your behalf, based on the guidelines established in your advance directives. Choosing this individual is an important step. This person needs to be 18 or older, and typically, people choose one of their closest family members to fill this important role - spouse, sibling, parent, adult child, etc. Make sure that the person you select is willing to fulfill the responsibilities the role requires, and that the two of you are able to speak candidly about your wishes.

Contact Us To Establish Your Healthcare Directive

Establishing a healthcare directive is always wise, but it is especially crucial if you are facing a major surgery or have recently been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Our attorney in Osage Beach MO understands the significant stress you are likely facing during this challenging time and will do everything she can to alleviate that stress. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have question about the process: (573) 552-0317.

We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.

Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065


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