If you're like the majority of people, you're not eager to think about what would happen if you could no longer manage your own medical treatment because due to illness, an accident, or advanced age. If you don't have a plan, write down your preferences regarding the treatment you would like to receive and name someone you trust to handle your medical care. This can leave you open to relatives, doctors who are distant from you, and judges who may not know much about your personal preferences.
Two basic documents allow you to make your own wishes known concerning medical treatment A durable power of attorney for health care as well as a living will. It's advisable to make both. In certain states there are states where both forms legal will are together into a single form often called an advance directive. The documents can be combined to create a single form called an advance directive.
The first step is to create a written declaration outlining the kind of care you'd like (or not want) should you become incapacitated. This document is most often known as a living will, though it may have a different name in your state. A living will bears nothing to do with the traditional will or living trust which is used to distribute property upon death; it's strictly intended to outline your health care preferences.
Your personal life may be used to express as much or little as you like about the type of health care you'd like to receive.
Powers of Attorney for Health Care
A durable power of legal will in Halifax Nova Scotia commonly referred to as a power of attorney, is needed to ensure your health. In this document, you appoint the person you trust as your health care agent (sometimes called an attorney-in fact for health care, health care proxy, or surrogate) to take any important health-related decisions for you and to ensure that your doctors and other health professionals provide you with the kind of treatment you want to receive.
Who Can Make Health Care Documents
You must legally be an adult (18 years old in most states) to sign an official document that governs your health treatment. Also, you must be of sound mind that is, understand what the document means and what it is, and how it functions.
Once your Health Care Documents Go into Effect
The health records you have signed are in effect if your physician determines that you lack the ability often called the "capacity" to make your own health care choices. Usually, this is:
you can't understand the nature and implications of the health care choices which are offered to you, and
You are unable to communicate your requests for assistance verbally or in writing or by gestures.
The documents will be effective immediately if you are unable to express your medical wishes or are severely ill. Your doctor will decide if your health care documents will be effective when there are questions about your capacity to express your thoughts and understand the treatment options.
Some states allow you to give your agent the power to oversee your medical treatment immediately. You may want to create an immediate effective document in the event that your state allows it. This will permit your health care agent to take charge of your medical treatment anytime without having to consult a doctor.