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In estate planning, health care directives are tied in with living wills. While a living will or living trust is used to dictate the distribution of your assets after your death, a health care directive is used to dictate your wishes for medical and health care decisions at the end of your life and after your death. Should you become unable to make decisions or speak for yourself due to a coma, terminal illness or vegetative state, a health care directive would be used so that your doctors and family members know what treatments you would have wanted and not wanted. This can include decisions relating to life support, resuscitation, or other life-prolonging treatments. In addition, a health care directive can tell your family and doctors what you wish to be done with your body after death, such as burial or cremation or donating your organs.
In order to create a health care directive, an individual must be of sound mind and capacity, and prove that they are creating the document out of their own will. Witnesses will need to sign the heath care directive and they cannot be any family members or medical providers. In creating your health care directive however, it is wise to carefully consider all of your options with your family and medical providers. There are many health care treatments and situations that can occur at the end of one's life, and your wishes will only be followed if they are clearly written into your health care directive. While you are still living, your health care directive is revocable and changeable at any time.
Estate planning lawyers are very experienced in helping clients create health care directives. If you are interested in creating a health care directive, an estate planning attorney can help you carefully consider all types of medical situations that could arise so that you create a clear and comprehensive health care directive. Similarly, an estate administration attorney can help ensure that your health care directive is administered and followed at the time of your death and/or if you become unable to make decisions on your own.
Attorney Search Network can help you find an estate planning lawyer in your area if you are considering a Health Care Directive. Similarly, if you have questions about carrying out a health care directive, an attorney can help you.
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