No one wants to think about the possibility of falling seriously ill or becoming severely injured. However, many people do ultimately suffer from debilitating diseases and life-altering injuries. Unfortunately, not as many people think about establishing a health care directive or appointing someone to make medical decisions on their behalf in the event that they cannot make these decisions themselves. All too often, this puts family members, loved ones, and doctors in the difficult position of not knowing your healthcare wishes.
At DiPietro Law Group, PLLC, our estate planning attorneys can assist you in creating a health care directive. Also known as an advanced health care directive or simply as an advanced directive, this document allows you to communicate your preferences regarding health care and medical treatment so that others do not have to guess at crucial decisions on your behalf.
To discuss your needs with one of our health care directives attorneys in Washington, D.C., please contact our office at (202) 902-9587.
Items Covered in a Health Care Directive
Generally speaking, your health care directive provides instructions to your doctor, family, and loved ones regarding how you wish to receive medical care if you are incapacitated. It also covers a variety of end-of-life concerns. Because each person has unique circumstances and personal wishes, every health care directive is different. What is covered in your health care directive will depend on your particular requests and concerns.
Most commonly, health care directives cover the following:
- Whether or not you wish to be resuscitated in the event that your heart stops
- If you wish to be placed on life support and if/when you wish life support to be terminated
- Your preferences regarding tube feeding if you are not able to feed yourself
- End-of-life care, including things like hospice, antibiotic treatment for infection, etc.
- Whether or not you want your organs, tissues, or body donated in the event that you die
In order to be considered valid, your health care directive must be in writing. It is also a good idea to discuss your wishes with your loved ones and medical providers so you can ensure they are all on the same page.
What Is a Health Care Power of Attorney?
In addition to creating a health care directive, you may wish to draft a health care power of attorney. While the health care directive establishes your wishes regarding medical treatment in the event that you are injured, ill, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to make decisions for yourself, a health care power of attorney is a legal document that appoints one person to be in charge of your medical decisions. It is generally a good idea to consider creating both a health care directive and a health care power of attorney. In this way, you can prepare for unexpected incidents or situations that may not be covered in your health care directive.
Speak to Our Experienced Legal Team Today
At DiPietro Law Group, PLLC, we provide personalized legal attention for all types of estate planning matters. Our Washington, D.C. health care directives lawyers understand the various complexities and issues involved in creating a plan for your future. With more than 42 years of combined legal experience, we are prepared to help you navigate each aspect of the estate planning process. We are also able to assist you in the event that you wish to modify or alter your health care directive, health care power of attorney, or any aspect of your estate plan.
Reach out to our firm at (202) 902-9587 or submit an online contact form to request a confidential consultation today.