Oro Valley Will and Healthcare Power of Attorney Lawyer
What is an Arizona Living Will?
A living will (also called an “advance directive”) is a legal document whereby a person facing a terminal event or condition can make their healthcare wishes known to medical personnel if they are unable to communicate their wishes. Typically living wills address whether the person desires to receive medical care to prolong life (such as being on life support), or whether healthcare should be limited to food and pain relief. Other types of medical care can also be addressed.
What is a Healthcare Power of Attorney?
A healthcare power of attorney grants to a person (called the “attorney-in-fact”) the power to make healthcare decisions for the person executing such document if such person is unable to communicate healthcare decisions as the result of injury or catastrophic medical event so long as such person remains unable to communicate such decisions. A healthcare power of attorney may become operative in an end-of-life situation (so long as it is not opposed to a living will), or it may become operative in other situations (such as in the event of a severe head trauma or coma).
How is a Living Will Different than a Healthcare Power of Attorney?
Both living wills and healthcare powers of attorney address situations in which the person executing the document cannot communicate his or her wishes. So long as a person is able to communicate his or her wishes for medical and related treatment, the directives and powers set forth in the living will or healthcare power of attorney are not effective.
The primary distinction between a living will and healthcare power of attorney is that the living will is designed to provide directives to healthcare providers, such as doctors, concerning end-of-life medical care. Thus if the person is not facing end-of-life care, the living will does not come into play, and the attorney-in-fact under the healthcare power of attorney would provide instruction concerning medical treatment.
The Importance of Living Wills and Healthcare Powers of Attorney
None of us would like to think about end-of-life situations or suffering a medical event where we cannot communicate our wishes. However, if such an event occurs, living wills and healthcare powers of attorney are significant.
If you have a living will in place, your family will not have to make the extremely difficult decisions about what type of end-of-life medical care you should receive. If a healthcare power of attorney is in place, the person designated in such document will have the full legal authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. Without such authority, it may be necessary for you loved ones to go to court to have a guardian appointed for you, which can not only be expensive and unnecessary, it can also trigger court oversight for all decisions made.
I Will Prepare the Legal Documents Necessary to Protect Your Interests and to Minimize the Burden to Your Family in a Medical Crisis
In addition to having other estate planning documents in place, a Living Will and Healthcare Power of Attorney will serve to protect you, your estate, and your family.
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I’m a native Midwesterner, having lived most of my life in Minnesota. I would look forward to meeting you, and learning about how I may be of service to you.