When you are young and vital, it is hard to imagine that one day you’ll be old and ill, facing your last days on Earth. But of course it is our destiny, and the common thread connecting everyone who lives is knowing that we will all die. We are the only species that is fully aware of and thoroughly understands our certain mortality, which enables us to prepare as that time approaches. As we ponder this difficult truth, most people have some idea of how they want to approach their last days, which you can incorporate into a legal record by consulting a Phoenix living wills attorney and creating a living will.
Your feelings on the matter may be influenced by religious or spiritual beliefs, which must be considered when planning for the end of life. One important consideration is how much and what kinds of medical interventions you will accept to your extend life if you’re terminally ill, and how to communicate your wishes to your doctors and family.
Advance medical directives are legal documents designed to communicate your wishes and preferences for medical treatments and interventions. By creating a written record of decisions you make now, you can relieve your family of having to make difficult decisions at an emotional time, and you can feel secure that when your time comes, you will be allowed to approach your death with dignity on your own terms. Using the services of an experienced Phoenix estate planning lawyer can ensure that the documents are drafted properly, so there will be no confusion or ambiguity.
Advance directives are of three types: living wills, health care proxies, and durable powers of attorney:
A living will is a written document specifying what kinds of medical treatment you want, or don’t want if you become incapacitated. It can be general or specific and detailed. A simple, general living will usually states that if you are suffering from an incurable illness and your doctor determines that your condition is terminal, life-sustaining measures that would serve only to prolong your dying are to be withheld or discontinued.
A more specific living will might list which interventions are acceptable and which are not. For example, you might choose to receive pain medication but not a feeding tube, ventilator, or other invasive intervention, or you might specify that if you stop breathing you are not to be resuscitated (DNA).
A health care proxy is another type of legal document that can be drawn in advance of need. It names another person who can make medical decisions on your behalf if you are not capable of making them for yourself. The person you select is expected to make those decisions in accordance with your stated desires. The document gives your proxy the same rights to request or refuse treatment that you would have if you were able to make or communicate a decision on your own.
A durable power of attorney (DPOA) is an advance directive that gives another person a power of attorney that goes into effect only if you are medically incapacitated. The durable power of attorney allows the person you’ve selected to handle your affairs, including making bank transactions, signing your social security checks, applying for disability, or paying bills through your checking account.
The Phoenix living wills lawyers at Gorman & Jones, PLC will take the time to assist you in deciding exactly what you want to include in your advance directives. We don’t use pre-printed forms because every client is a unique individual with his or her own particular concerns and beliefs that must be reflected in the directives. We understand that this can be a difficult and emotional process and we will help to guide you through it so that you can feel at ease and in control of decisions that will affect how you live your last days.
Contact the law offices of Gorman & Jones, PLC by calling 602-388-1623 or contact us online to discuss the advance directives you want to have in place. We have offices in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sun City, and Sun City West for your convenience and the consultation is free.