Advance Medical Directives

Do you worry about what will happen if you become incapacitated and cannot make decisions for yourself? The idea of losing control is terrifying, but one you can avoid by having an Advance Medical Directive in place. You can use this tool to designate a person to make medical decisions for you, and can ensure that you have discussed your wishes with that person so that they are guided by your philosophy. With this legal tool in place, you can ensure your wishes are honored if you are unable to verbalize choices yourself.  

You want to make sure your directive spells out everything clearly so there isn’t room for misinterpretation. Thus, contact a Northern Virginia Advance Medical Directives attorney from our firm. Our detail-oriented team will go over everything with you and help you create a directive that medical professionals will honor. Contact us today to discuss this and other estate planning needs.

What Can You Include in an Advance Medical Directive?

Our Northern Virginia Advance Medical Directive attorneys will go over the form with you and explain it in detail. Then, you can use the advance directive to:

Powers of a Healthcare Agent

Your Northern Virginia Advance Medical Directives attorney will help you appoint an agent to make medical decisions in the event of your incapacitation. The agent will only have the power to do so if one or more doctors determine you cannot make decisions for yourself. If you are able to make decisions down the road, the agent will no lose the power to make them for you.

You should discuss specific instructions about your care with your agent. Your agent should be someone you feel you can relay on with decisions regarding your medical care. If the agent does not have specific instructions from you for a certain situation, he or she can base the decision on your values and the type of treatment he or she thinks you would want. Thus, there needs to be a high level of trust between you and the agent you select. Contact our firm today to discuss selecting the right agent for your advance directive.

Who Will Make Decisions If You Don’t Have an Advance Directive?

If you do not have an advance directive in place, your family members will usually be the ones asked to make decisions for you. However, this sometimes creates an opportunity for conflict, especially where, for example, multiple adult children are involved. And many of us still remember the Terri Schiavo case where Terri’s parents and husband engaged in litigation for years over important decisions involving her.

Unfortunately, family members often fail to talk about the type of care they would like because it is an uncomfortable topic. Thus, spouses, children, and others often do not know what choices to make. This leaves them worried and stressed, and the burden can be too much for them to bear. Thus, protect your family by reaching out to an Advance Medical Directive attorney today.

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Revoking an Advance Medical Directive

As long as you are of sound mind, you have the right to revoke your Advance Medical Directive at any time. Once revoked, you can draft a new document that names a new agent to make decisions for you. If you would like to revoke the document, contact an Advance Medical Directive attorney from our firm. The attorney can help you terminate the directive and make a new one.

What Should You Do With Your Advance Medical Directive?

You can lock up your original Advance Medical Directive for safekeeping, and you do not need to carry it around with you. It’s a good idea to give copies of it to your doctor so he or she will know your wishes. Additionally, you can give the paperwork to the agent and family members if you wish. It is always best practice to have a digital copy created so that you can have a copy accessible at your fingertips wherever you are. Our firm will always provide you with one.

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