Incorporating Healthcare Decision-Making into Your Estate Plan
Who will make decisions about your medical care if you are unable to do so? Do you want someone else making decisions on your behalf; or, would you prefer to make decisions now that will allow you to maintain full control over your care in the event of incapacity or an end-of-life scenario?
While these are difficult questions to think about, they are important. Not only will making decisions now protect you, but it will also save your loved ones from having to make difficult decisions (and potentially getting into conflicts over these decisions) without the benefit of your personal guidance. Once you make these decisions, incorporating them into your estate plan is fairly straightforward; and, if you change your mind, you can always update your estate plan down the line.
Advance Healthcare Planning in Ohio and Kentucky
Whether you live in Ohio or Kentucky, the estate planning tools that are available for advance healthcare planning are similar. Jim can explain your options and help you plan for all possible contingencies, and he can help you understand the differing benefits and drawbacks of the various alternatives that are available.
In a typical scenario, the primary options available for advance healthcare planning are:
- Healthcare Directives – The primary function of a healthcare directive is to name someone as your surrogate to make healthcare-related decisions on your behalf. In your healthcare directive, you can include specific instructions that your surrogate must follow regarding life-prolonging care, organ donation and other matters.
- Healthcare Powers of Attorney – A healthcare power of attorney is similar in many respects to a healthcare directive, but it has certain features that some individuals will find more desirable.
- Living Wills – Unlike a healthcare directive or power of attorney, a living will only provides instructions for your healthcare providers in the event of your incapacity. It does not designate someone else to make decisions on your behalf.
When deciding which option to choose and which specific terms to include, there are a variety of other questions you may need to answer as well. Prior to choosing and drafting your advance healthcare planning documents, Jim will guide you through the process of considering issues such as:
- If you are married, how would your preferences change if you got divorced?
- If you have minor children, will your preferences change once they reach a certain age?
- Are there certain decisions that you want to control (i.e. whether or not to be placed on life-saving support) while leaving other decisions to your spouse or another family member?
- Do you need to address certain financial considerations, such as preserving Medicaid eligibility?
- Do you have specific preferences (religious, personal or otherwise) regarding doctors, facilities or means of care?
Schedule a Confidential Initial Consultation
If you have questions, you can contact Singler Law to schedule an initial estate planning consultation. House calls, after-hours scheduling and Saturday appointments are available for those who need them. To speak with Jim about your personal needs in confidence, please call 513-486-0000 or request an appointment online today.