Healthcare Directive Lawyers in Phoenix
A Leading Lawyer You Can Rely On
Most people do not want to talk about dying. As a result, up to 70% of individuals fail to engage in end-of-life planning. This can result in a number of challenges, from estate disputes to determining whether or not medical treatment can be provided to you. The fact is that end-of-life planning is essential. It can ensure all your wishes are respected and save your family from having to make difficult decisions. Finally, without thinking about these important things, your loved ones may be required to take up these decisions with the court. This is not an ideal situation and can lead to your desires and wishes being disregarded entirely. If you are not ready for a situation like this, call a lawyer.
For years, Kamper & Estrada, PLLC has been utilizing our knowledge and experience to create estate plans that are both strategic and effective in carrying out our client’s wishes. A lawyer is one part of an estate plan. Let us explain why you need one during a consultation.
Call Kamper & Estrada, PLLC, now at (602) 663-9952.
Why Do I Need a Healthcare Directive?
Life is unpredictable. If you become incapacitated or are otherwise rendered unable to make decisions for yourself, it is important doctors know what your wishes might be.
A healthcare directive exists for this very purpose. Included in it can be whether you want to be revived, what types of treatment you do or do not want, and what your wishes are in the event you are permanently comatose.
Without a healthcare directive, decisions like these, and others, can be made by a judge or applicable parties. Even if a loved one or family member might be able to make these decisions, they will need to know what you want. Leaving any decision up to another person might also result in heated emotions, or even litigation. Although nothing can guarantee the absence of conflict, a healthcare directive can make it less likely from happening.
What Does a Healthcare Directive Do?
As lawyers, we recommend including a healthcare directive in all estate plans.
This tool will give you the ability to do one or both of the following:
- Appoint a healthcare agent: An agent has a legal authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. This named person will be able to step in when you cannot make decisions for yourself.
- State your wishes: You can use a healthcare directive to express your healthcare wishes. For instance, if you are terminally ill, you can state that you wish to not prolong the process of dying. Or, if you are in an accident, you can detail what you want to happen to you in the event your injuries are life-threatening. Your named healthcare agent and doctor must legally abide by your wishes.
Who Can Be a Named Healthcare Agent?
In general, any adult of a sound mind can be your named healthcare agent. You should choose someone you trust, such as a spouse, close friend, or family member. You can also appoint an alternate agent who will be called upon if the first agent is unavailable to make decisions or does not want to. A doctor cannot be a named agent. As long as the named agent acts in good faith, they cannot be liable for any decisions made. As a lawyer might tell you, it is very important to think about this before you act. You should also talk to the prospective agent about what they think—be sure that they are okay with this responsibility.
What a Healthcare Directive Agent Can Do
A healthcare directive agent must act within any limitations set in your directive.
Some powers that the named agent might have include:
- Accessing your medical records
- Donating your organs
- Accepting or refusing medical treatment
- Making an anatomical gift of your body to science
These powers are only to be exercised according to what your healthcare directive states. This means they can be very limited or considerably broad. Once written, they cannot be overridden by doctors or your healthcare agent. Drafting a healthcare directive involves a lot of thought—working with an experienced healthcare directives lawyer in Phoenix can be advantageous.
Call Kamper & Estrada, PLLC today at (602) 663-9952.