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ADVANCE DIRECTIVES

 

Click HERE To find free advance directive forms that you can fill out yourself

 

 

 

 

 

Life events sometimes reach out and shake us into action.  A parent, sibling, husband or wife, or our next door neighbor has an accident or develops alzeiheimers.  They are no longer able to make decisions on their own and someone needs to act on their behalf.  Loved ones need to know your wishes.  What medical care or intervention do you want when the end is near.  Do you want to be tube fed?  Do you want an IV to force fluids?  The decision to stop food and water can be painful and devastating for your loved ones if you have not prepared "advance directives" that they can follow. 

 

A LIVING WILL spells out what you want to happen at end of life.  You should have one prepared and you should let your loved ones know that you have considered the terms of the document seriously.  When the time comes, as it will for all of us, the decision will have been yours and your family will not  have to live with the question of whether or not they did what you wanted.  The living will should make the end easier for you but it is really your way of telling your family it is ok to let go at the proper time. 

 

A DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTH CARE authorizes your care givers to accept the decisions of the person that you name regarding medical treatment.  When a decision needs to be made and you are not mentally competent, unconscious, under anesthesia, or otherwise not able to appropriately respond, you can continue to get the necessary care.  If you recover your senses then you will once again be in charge.\

 

A DURABLE GENERAL POWER OF ATTORNEY Allows you to give someone the authority to sign documents and make decisions for you regardless of whether you are mentally able to make the decisions yourself.  Third parties have the right to rely on the decisions of this third party as though the decisions were yours directly.  Bank accounts, car titles, deeds to real estate can all be covered in the document.  If you have this document in place, you may be able to avoid the need for a guardianship in the event of a prolonged period of incompetence.