Dealing with a family member who’s incapacitated can be a very difficult and emotional experience. One thing that makes it even more stressful is having to make difficult decisions when that family member is no longer able to do so on their own due to being incapacitated. When multiple family members are involved this often leads to quarreling and drama over these decisions. In the absence of your documented wishes on your healthcare treatment, your family and loved-ones are left to speculate what treatment and healthcare decisions you would make if you could speak for yourself. That’s why its important to plan before you become incapacitated.
There are three essential legal documents for making health care decisions that must be in place prior to becoming incapacitated:
- Advanced Directive. This legal document, also called Medical Power of Attorney or Medical or Health Care Proxy, gives your agent the authority to make health care decisions for you if you cannot do so because you have become incapacitated.
- Living Will. This legal document allows you to state your wishes for end-of-life medical care, in case you become unable to communicate your decisions.
- HIPAA Authorization. Federal and state laws dictate who can receive medical information without the written consent of the patient. This legal document gives your doctor or other health care provider the authority to disclose your medical information to the agent selected by you.
If you or any of your family members need assistance with preparing any of these documents feel free to give us a call at (205) 578-1597.