The future holds many uncertainties, and as such, it’s essential to do what you can to plan. You may not have considered what should happen if you cannot make your own medical decisions. Luckily, you can create a medical power of attorney to help ease this anxiety. If you’re ready to obtain peace of mind for the future, Washtenaw County advance healthcare directive attorneys can help you through this complex process. Keep reading to learn more about why you should consider this estate planning option and how to proceed with creating one.
What Is a Medical Power of Attorney?
A medical power of attorney is formally referred to as an advance healthcare directive in Michigan. This is a legal document permitting another person to act on your behalf to make medical decisions for you. This person is a proxy or agent of your choosing who understands your wishes and will communicate them to your healthcare providers. This occurs should you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions or consent to treatment. For example, if you are involved in an accident and go into a coma, are under anesthesia, suffer a stroke and cannot communicate, or have a degenerative disease like Alzheimer’s that prevents you from comprehending your choices, this agent can act on your behalf.
Without an advance healthcare directive, the doctors will follow the state’s guidelines of entities that can make medical decisions for you. This person is generally your “next of kin,” which under Michigan Law means your legal spouse will likely be the one to make medical decisions for you. If they are unavailable or you do not have a spouse, the decision falls to adult children, followed by your parents.
How Do I Create an Advance Healthcare Directive in Michigan?
You must carefully consider who you would like to make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot make these choices on your own. Additionally, you must also consider what medical decisions you want this person to advocate for. It is essential to document what kinds of treatment or healthcare measures you do not want. Once you have made these considerations, you’ll need to establish an advance healthcare directive.
Though there are many online PDFs you can print out, it’s in your best interest to consult an attorney. Unfortunately, those unfamiliar with the law may not know how to properly complete these documents. As a result, your plan may be invalid.
Finally, once you’ve completed these forms under the guidance of an estate planning attorney, you’ll need to make copies to give to your appointed agent and your doctor’s office. Be sure to keep the original document in a secure location, like a fireproof lockbox or with your attorney.
If you’re ready to create an advance healthcare directive, Collis, Griffor & Hendra can help. Our legal team has the necessary experience to help guide you through this complex process to ensure you have the peace of mind necessary to enjoy your life to the fullest. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.