Advanced Healthcare Directives Lawyers in Northville Assisting Clients Prepare For the Future
In our busy daily lives, we seldom take time to consider what could happen to us if we could not make healthcare decisions for ourselves. However, planning now can prevent a probate court from assigning a guardian to oversee your care or give your loved ones peace of mind they are making medical care decisions in line with your wishes.
Estate Planning & Elder Law Services, P. C. of Northville is a law firm dedicated to helping clients plan for future medical treatment should they become incapacitated and unable to speak for themselves.
If you want more information about how an advanced healthcare directive lawyer can assist you with preparing advance directives, contact our law office in Northville to schedule a free initial consultation. A qualified legal team member will gladly sit down with you to assess your needs and determine available legal options.
What is an Advance Healthcare Directive?
Under Michigan law, an advance directive is a written legal document that specifies an individual’s medical wishes or who they designate to make decisions should they be unable to do so for themselves.
An advance healthcare directive gives individuals peace of mind, knowing their wishes will be honored. An advance directive also eliminates the guesswork for family members when they are trying to determine end-of-life care decisions.
Anyone considering creating an advance directive must consult an experienced attorney who can provide advice and guidance to ensure your wishes are outlined correctly and that they will stand up to legal scrutiny.
What Types of Advance Directives Are Available in Michigan?
In Michigan, several advance directives are available depending on the individual’s wishes. One of the best steps a person can take is to include advance directives in a well-crafted estate plan.
The four types of advance directives include:
- Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (DPOA): A legal document that allows an individual to appoint another person, called a patient advocate, to make decisions related to their medical and personal care. A DPOA for healthcare is a legally binding document. However, doctors or the hospital only have to honor a DPOA for healthcare if two witnesses sign the form.
- Living Will: A written document that expresses an individual’s preferences to doctors, caregivers, or family members as to the type of care they do or does not want to receive should they become terminally ill or in a persistent vegetative state. A living will differs from a DPOA as it does not appoint a patient advocate to make decisions but gives direct instructions from the patient.
- Do-Not-Resuscitate Declaration: Commonly referred to as a DNR, a do-not-resuscitate declaration is a written document that expresses an individual’s wishes not to be resuscitated should their breathing and heartbeat cease. However, individuals should be aware a DNR only applies to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and not life-sustaining medical treatment such as mechanical respiration.
In most instances, individuals choose a trusted family member, such as a parent, spouse, or caregiver, to make medical decisions on their behalf. However, a DPOA for healthcare does not allow individuals to make financial decisions for the patient.
The advance directive attorneys of Estate Planning & Elder Law Services, P. C., can gladly answer your questions and help you determine which options may be suitable for you. Our lawyers have extensive experience helping clients create tailor-made advance directives for their needs and would be honored to help you.
What Medical Procedures Can Be Addressed With an Advance Directive?
In an advance directive, various medical procedures can be addressed so that a doctor, hospital, or nursing home complies with a patient’s wishes. Some of the most commonly addressed issues include:
- Artificial nutrition
- Pain management
- Palliative care
- Tube feeding
In addition, an advance directive may also provide additional information on how to administer emergency procedures or alleviate pain.
If you are concerned about the type of medical procedures that may be performed should you become critically ill or permanently unconscious, it is in your best interest to contact a knowledgeable advance directive lawyer immediately.
Individuals should never assume that their next of kin or others close to them will be granted the ability to make decisions regarding their care. In some situations, a court will intervene and appoint a temporary guardian to make medical decisions while relatives fight it out in court.
Legal battles are costly and time-consuming and can significantly affect everyone involved. Instead, having your wishes legally documented is far easier to help family members and medical professionals know they are acting according to your wishes.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Me Create an Advance Directive?
No law specifically states you must have a lawyer to create an advance directive. However, you should have an experienced lawyer to help ensure that your advance directives hold up to any potential legal scrutiny.
Individuals must realize that for an advance directive to be honored, it must be signed by two witnesses. Additionally, neither of the two witnesses can be family members, healthcare workers, or beneficiaries of your estate.
Hiring an advance directive lawyer to assist you is beneficial because they can offer advice regarding the type of medical treatment that may be offered and help you understand what options may be available based on your personal preferences.
If you are still trying to determine the advantages of an advance directive or need assistance creating legal documents, our lawyers are ready to help. Our law firm is unique in that we sit down and listen to the client and allow them to tell us their needs before we recommend any course of action.
Contact Estate Planning & Elder Law Services, P. C. of Northville, by calling 888-663-7407 to schedule a free no-obligation consultation to discuss your needs. A qualified legal team member will happily meet with you to answer any questions or address your concerns.