The Women and Children’s Law Center of Oklahoma City practices family law that includes estate planning, and every estate planning package should include an advanced medical directive and/or a Medical Power of Attorney. The importance of these documents can be overlooked in our busy, day-to-day lives, but they should be drawn up. To find out why you should include this legal paperwork in your legal papers, keep reading.
Who Needs an Advanced Medical Directive or Medical Power of Attorney
No one ever knows when end-of-life medical services will be needed. Of course, we all hope that everyone we know lives a long and fruitful life, but this is not always the case. Cancer and road traffic accidents claim the lives of thousands of Oklahomans every year and it is often the case that death is not a momentary catastrophic event. In many cases, the person is left lingering in ICU, on life support, while there is no hope for recovery. It is for these cases that an advanced medical directive and/or medical power of attorney are essential to have filed. This is the reason that everyone needs to have these legal documents filed with a lawyer, and in many instances with a hospital system. These papers are especially important for the elderly who need to assign a Power of Attorney to someone. It is very important to establish who it is that will make these important decisions in order to avoid confusion and drama in the hospital when decisions sometimes need to be made quickly and authoritatively. The last thing you, or your family needs is important decisions being postponesbecausee it is not clear who is charge.
What is an Advanced Medical Directive?
An advanced medical directive, also known as a living will or simply medical directive, is a document that sets out what life-saving or life-prolonging measures you want carried out, or not carried out, should you no longer be able to make your opinion known due to medical circumstances. Examples of this would be if a person was in a coma and was deemed brain dead by the medical staff. Who decided when to take them off of life support? Do they want to be a donor? With an advanced medical directive, you make these decisions yourself, ahead of time.
What is a Medical Power of Attorney?
Much like any Power of Attorney, a Medical Power of Attorney hands medical decision-making powers to someone else. It can name a spouse or child, for example, as the legal proxy to make decisions for you based on an unforeseeable set of circumstances. The person you choose should be made aware of your preferences with regard to life-saving and life-prolonging extraordinary measures. Every state has its own regulations, so contact Women and Children’s Law Center to have your Oklahoma Medical Power of Attorney drawn up and kept on file. Many times you can file them with the hospital system of your choice.
Call Women and Children’s Law Center for all your family law needs including estate planning.