Health Care Directives (HCDs) put into writing the type of medical care, or decisions, you want made if you are no longer able to communicate them yourself. All adults should have advance directives - an accident or serious illness can happen suddenly. Few people like to talk about or think about these things. Not having this discussion or not having advance directives can place an even heavier burden on those you love if the unthinkable happens.
A Health Care Directive is different from a Physicians Order for Life Sustaining Treatment, or POLST. A POLST is generated by a health care professional, usually the doctor, not by an attorney. It is most appropriately completed when the end of life is near. The HCD gives direction (and the Power of Attorney gives authority) to the surrogate decision maker for input into the drafting and implementing of the POLST when the individual can no longer make those decisions independently.
Before we meet to prepare your health care directive, it may be helpful to get information on the types of life-sustaining treatments that are available. Often, a conversation with your health care provider would help you decide what types of treatment you would want or would not want.
We will walk you through the text step-by-step and will explain the terminology. While this is a relatively simple document specifically authorized by statute, it should be thoroughly reviewed and tailored to the specific desires of the individual. Once we complete your HCD, we will have you sign it before two witnesses.
To speak with an experienced estate planning attorney, please call us at 360.630.3635.