This article is courtesy of Attorney Jaclyn Palumbo as an addendum to Reading This Could Save Your Life
When it comes to a healthcare emergency, people often panic because they don’t have the appropriate documentation in place. This is one preventable legal issue, which is rare, because most legal problems are not preventable.
Healthcare Emergency – Estate Planning
With the assistance of an attorney, anyone over the age of eighteen should have, at a minimum, the following: healthcare power of attorney, living will, durable power of attorney for finances, and basic will. You should speak to an estate-planning attorney who also does elder law to evaluate your individual needs, to find out if you need any additional documents in place.
Communicating Your Wishes
The other important component of healthcare emergency planning is communicating your wishes to the people who need to know. For example, you need to communicate your end-of-life choices to your loved ones so they know how to act in an emergency. In addition, you should give copies of healthcare powers of attorney and living wills to those loved ones. These simple steps will prevent scrambling for documents when it matters most.
Healthcare Emergency – Legal Documents
- Healthcare power of attorney: Nominates an agent to make healthcare decisions for you in an emergency, and lists instructions for end-of-life care.
- Living will: Document that is a direct communication between you and your doctor about your end-of-life decisions. This document, if executed, trumps a power of attorney for healthcare. For example, if you agent decides not to stop life support, and your living will indicates that is your wish, then end-of-life care will be stopped regardless of your healthcare power of attorney.
- Durable power of attorney for financials: Document that allows someone to manage your financial affairs while you are incapacitated.
- Will: Document that determines where your property goes after death.
If you have additional questions, please contact Attorney Jaclyn Palumbo at (330)849-5020, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit Jaclyn’s website at www.palumboandsweet.com.