It is important to understand that disaster can occur without warning, and you can be left incapacitated. Should you, for instance, suffer a stroke and be unable to write or use a part of your brain, you will need individuals who can make both financial and medical decisions on your behalf. The latter is referred to as giving a person healthcare power of attorney. Your College Station estate lawyer can assist you in setting up this very important part of your overall estate plan.
Essential Healthcare Documents
Unexpected and tragic events can, unfortunately, happen at any time. When they do, it is too late to arrange for handling them. If you have become involved actively in estate planning you understand this fact, as well as the importance of being proactive. Planning for the possibility of being left incapable of making decisions for yourself is not pessimistic thinking; rather, it is being realistic and wise.
If such a calamity occurs, you will want to make sure both that your wishes for medical care be known and that they be carried out. To this end you should consider two documents—the living will and healthcare power of attorney. Combined, these are generally referred to as an advance directive.
- Living Will: Your living will is entirely different from a will. This document reflects the care that you have determined you wish rendered in the event you become incapacitated. For instance, if you become unable to live without the assistance of artificial means, you can choose that this not be done.
- Healthcare Power of Attorney: To accompany the living will you will want a power of attorney. This names an individual you trust to assume the responsibility of making healthcare decisions on your behalf. Sometimes referred to as either a healthcare agent or attorney-in-fact for healthcare, the person to whom you give the healthcare power of attorney should be someone you trust implicitly.
When the Healthcare Power of Attorney Begins and Ends
Your healthcare power of attorney will be effective beginning the moment a doctor deems that you lack the capacity to make healthcare decisions on your own. The document will remain in effect as long as you remain incapacitated and are alive. If for some reason you wish to revoke or change the document, you can do this simply by contacting your healthcare provider and agent, and then canceling the power of attorney. In rare instances a court will invalidate a healthcare power of attorney should a dispute over the circumstances of its origin occur.
For Assistance in Setting up Your Healthcare Power of Attorney
It is important to plan ahead for the potential that you may be left at some point in your life unable to make healthcare decisions for yourself. A College Station estate lawyer can help you set up your healthcare power of attorney. Call Peterson Law Group today at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.