Why do I need an advance healthcare directive?

 Posted on February 28, 2022 in Uncategorized

It may feel uncomfortable for you to think about the medical care you may need in the future. But as you start the process of estate planning, you will want to include directions for your healthcare. An advance healthcare directive lets you choose your medical care. It gives your loved ones instructions if you can no longer communicate.

Texas provides a few different documents for advance directives:

  • Living will – In Texas, this is also called “Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates Form.” A living will contains your wishes for medical treatment. If you are unable to communicate your wishes due to illness or injury, a living will lets your family and doctors know what you want.
  • Medical power of attorney – With a medical power of attorney, you choose a healthcare proxy to make healthcare decisions for you. This healthcare proxy is usually a trusted family member or friend. If you are unable to communicate, your healthcare proxy makes any medical decisions on your behalf.
  • Durable power of attorney – A durable power of attorney takes responsibility for your finances if you are no longer able to communicate. You may choose the same person as your healthcare proxy. Or you can choose a separate person to be your durable power of attorney.
  • Do not resuscitate (DNR) – Depending on your medical condition, you may choose to sign a DNR. This lets medical professionals know to not provide life-saving treatments like cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). You would use a DNR if you have a severe medical condition and would prefer not to linger on.

These forms can often be complex. Make sure you obtain legal advice when creating your advance directives. An attorney experienced in estate planning can make sure that you implement your plan correctly.

While you may feel that you have plenty of life left, planning for the future keeps you prepared. Injury and illness can happen at any time. Making sure you have your decisions in place ensures sure that you receive the care that you want.

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