Advanced Directives

Ensure your healthcare wishes are respected with clear advanced directives.

At Inhulsen Law, we believe that estate planning goes far beyond plans for transferring property to loved ones after your death. We want to ensure that you have the right healthcare treatment during your lifetime.

Incorporating healthcare directives into your plan is one step we can take to protect you in case you are ever in a situation where you are unable to communicate your preferences for care and authorization for treatment. Because accidents and illnesses can cause medical emergencies at any time of life, it is wise for all adults in Michigan to have healthcare directives prepared just in case.

Two Primary Components of Healthcare Directives in Michigan

Healthcare directives, sometimes referred to as advance directives, often consist of two main components. The first part is a durable power of attorney for healthcare, which may also be called a medical power of attorney. The second part is a living will—a document that is quite different from a traditional last will and testament.

Healthcare Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney for healthcare is a document that authorizes someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you should become incapacitated and unable to make or communicate your own decisions. With a durable power of attorney for healthcare, you can avoid unnecessary delays in receiving critical care, because your agent can make a quick decision and authorize treatment.

The person you choose to make decisions for you—who is sometimes known as a health care agent or patient advocate–does not need to be an attorney or have special training. However, you should choose someone you trust to make decisions that you would want. It is a good idea to have detailed discussions with the agent you’ve authorized through the power of attorney document so that they understand explicitly the types of treatment you would or would not want in specific situations.

Living Will

Unlike a traditional will which distributes property after your death, a living will deals with medical and care decisions during your lifetime. A living will describes your preferences for life-extending medical care if you are suffering from a serious medical condition and not expected to recover. In situations where you are unable to speak for yourself, your living will can explain what types of treatment you would want, and what you would not want to receive. For instance, you might want pain medication but not artificial feeding.

In Michigan, living wills do not have the independent legal effect that they do in many other jurisdictions. However, these documents provide crucial guidance to your health care agent or patient advocate about the decisions that should be made on your behalf. The preferences explained in a living will also provide reassurance to friends and family so they can be comforted knowing that you are receiving care in the manner that you wanted.

Directives Tailored to Your Specifications

At Inhulsen Law, when we prepare healthcare directives, we take the time to explain the components and the options available so that you can make right informed choices to fit your preferences. We want you to feel comfortable and confident with your choices.

If you want to change or revoke your healthcare directives, you remain free to do so at any time, as long as you remain legally competent. You might change your preferences for treatment or name a different agent. When dealing with something as personal and essential as healthcare directives, you should feel secure that your wishes will not be questioned and your choices will be respected.

Storing and Sharing Your Directives

Once Inhulsen Law has prepared your healthcare directives, it is important to take the right steps to protect these documents and ensure that the essential people are able to follow the terms. The original signed copies should be stored in a secure location with your other estate planning documents such as your will. Copies should be given to the person designated to make decisions on your behalf, as well as your primary care physician. If you go to the hospital for treatment, take a copy with you. Make sure that loved ones know where to find the original documents in case they are ever needed.

Inhulsen Law Protects Your Medical Autonomy with Healthcare Directives

Healthcare directives give you a voice in emergency situations where you are unable to explain your own preferences to doctors and other healthcare professionals. Every adult should have these critical documents prepared so that their choices for treatment can be followed without unnecessary confusion or delays.

Inhulsen Law tailors these documents to reflect your individual choices and we take the time to ensure that you and your loved ones understand exactly how your healthcare directives would operate if needed. Contact our team today to find out how Inhulsen Law can protect your future with healthcare directives.

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