Medical decisions are extremely personal. You want to be able to make these decisions on your own. But what happens if you become incapacitated and are unable to make these decisions? Who will make medical decisions for you? Will the right decisions be made? Will the choices lead to arguments among your family members?
These are questions you do not need to worry about if you have an advance health care directive. An advance health care directive, commonly referred to as a living will, is an important part of an estate plan that allows you to clearly state your decisions about end-of-life care and other treatment matters.
The Difference Between an Advance Health Care Directive and a POA
There is a great deal of confusion between advance health care directives and health care powers of attorney. While these two estate planning documents address similar issues, they are quite a bit different and it is important to understand the distinction.
With an advance health care directive, you can clearly state what sort of treatment you would like to receive in different medical circumstances such as coma. The document will tell medical professionals how to treat you. Ultimately, the decisions will be made by you, ahead of time.
A health care power of attorney gives an individual the power to make medical decisions for you. While this may be a person whom you trust and whom you have conveyed your preferences to, this person will be responsible for all decisions. This puts a great deal of weight on the individual's shoulders, and leaves him or her open for disputes with other family members who disagree with the choices made. Many people prefer a living will because of the certainty it provides. At Solomon, Berschler, Campbell & Thomas, P.C., in Norristown, Pennsylvania, our lawyers can help you determine the option that is right for you.
Consultations About Living Wills
Call 610-624-2006 or email today to talk to a lawyer about creating an estate plan with an advance health care directive or adding a living will to an existing estate plan.