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NC and SC Estate Planning and Elder Law Firm

Monday, June 24, 2019

Advanced Health Care Directives

An often overlooked, but very important, aspect of estate planning are health care directives. These are legal documents that can describe the medical care you want should you be unable to communicate your wishes to your family, friends, and treating medical providers. You should not wait until you are ill, injured, or otherwise incapacitated to put these documents into place. They are crucial in the event of the unexpected happening. If you ever become incapacitated, health care directives can ensure that your wishes are carried out even when you are unable to communicate them.

What are Advanced Health Care Directives?

There are several different advanced health care directives that you can put into place, including:

  • Living will
  • Health Care Power of Attorney
  • Advance Instruction for Mental Health Treatment

A living will gives you the opportunity to outline the types of life-prolonging medical treatments you would wish to receive or not to receive. Such treatments may include a breathing machine or a feeding tube. This document can go into as much or as little detail as you wish. Of course, you won’t be able to provide for every possible treatment scenario and that is where a health care power of attorney becomes exceedingly useful.

A health care power of attorney grants you health care agent the authority to make health care decision on your behalf should you become incapacitated. They will honor those wishes expressed in your living will. For situations not covered in your living will, the health care power of attorney will have discretion in decisions regarding your treatment options. Your health care power of attorney may also do things like selecting your treating doctors or choosing a medical facility. Putting a health care power of attorney in place gives you the opportunity to select someone you trust, a person whose discretion you have the utmost faith in to make critical health care choices on your behalf should you be unable to express your own wishes at the time.

You may also wish to have an established advance instruction for mental health treatment. This is specific to any of your wishes regarding mental health care decisions that may come up at a time when your unable to communicate them. You may have strong opinions about which facility you would want to go to or whether or not you would be amenable to electroconvulsive therapy or certain kinds of prescription medications.

Estate Planning Attorneys Looking Out for Your Health Care Wishes.

Advanced health care directives are not required. There is no law mandating that you have these legal documents in place. However, advanced health care directives can prove invaluable in the event you become incapacitated. Accidents happen. Tragedy strikes. Be prepared. Prepare your family for what your wishes would be. Monk Law Firm PLLC is prepared to draft a comprehensive estate plan for you that includes critical legal documents such as advanced health care directives. Contact us today.


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Monk Law Firm, PLLC assists clients throughout Charlotte, Rock Hill, Fort Mill and the surrounding areas.



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1701 First Baxter Crossing, Suite 101, Fort Mill, SC 29708
| Phone: 803-594-4453
13315 Carowinds Blvd., Suite Q, Charlotte, NC 28273
| Phone: 704-369-9977

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