Estate & Disability Planning: Advanced Directive, Medical Power of Attorney, and More

If you’ve been putting off estate and disability planning, you’re not alone. Sitting down and formalizing directions for what to do if you’re disabled and unable to speak for yourself can generate real discomfort and unease in even the most pragmatic person — but it’s a vitally important thing to do. By identifying who you want to have act as your voice when you have none, and providing detailed information about your wishes and values regarding medical care when you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself, you not only assure that your wishes will be followed, but you provide your loved ones with confidence that the actions they take on your behalf are the ones that you directed. The process of deciding what your preferences are requires time and a serious examination of your personal values, and is best done with an experienced estate planning attorney guiding the way. The lawyers and elder care coordinators at Bratton Scott Attorneys at Law have extensive experience and knowledge regarding medical powers of attorney, advanced directives, and more, and are here to help.

An advanced directive may seem like any other legal form to be filled out, but it reflects one of the most important decisions that you’ll make about your future. It provides your family, friends and medical providers with a clear roadmap of what health care decisions are to be made on your behalf in the event that you are unable to speak for yourself. It can also provide you with the opportunity to name who you want to be responsible for making these decisions in the event that you haven’t left clear directions.

For a medical power of attorney or durable power of attorney for health care, who you name will act as your proxy when you are unable to speak for yourself. The decision about who this should be is entirely up to you: some people choose their spouse, a friend or adult child, a sibling, or somebody else whose judgment you trust. One of the best ways that you can help the person you name with this important decision is to provide a living will, which specifically addresses your end-of-life preferences. Scenarios included in a living will include whether life-sustaining measures should be taken, whether you want to be kept alive through advanced technology, and whether you want to be resuscitated if your heart stops.

Making these decisions is not a pleasant proposition for anyone. It involves sitting down and envisioning situations that nobody wants to imagine themselves in. But opting out of creating advanced directives doesn’t mean that the situation won’t eventually happen; it just means that you’ll be leaving your loved ones without any idea or proof of what your wishes are. It leaves them at a loss as to what to do in an already difficult situation, and opens up the possibility of arguments at the exact moment when they most need each other’s support.

To make sure that you protect your family from heartache and ensure that your wishes are carried out, call 856-857-6007 to make an appointment with the skilled lawyers at Bratton Scott Attorneys at Law.