Create Advance Health Care Directives with Elder Law Attorneys

Elder Law, Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Will, Trust, Power of Attorney

As you get older, it's important to have plans in place for your future medical care in case you become unable to make decisions for yourself. An Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD), sometimes called a living will, allows you to legally spell out your wishes for end-of-life care. While you can share this document with your medical providers, there are several key reasons to create your AHCD with the guidance of an experienced elder law attorney.

An Elder Law Attorney Is a Legal Expert

Your doctor is an expert when it comes to medical care and treatment options. However, they are not trained legal professionals. Elder law attorneys focus specifically on the legal needs of older adults and issues like estate planning, sheltering assets from long-term care costs, and estate and trust administration. An attorney will ensure your AHCD is properly drafted, witnessed, and executed according to your state's laws to maximize its legal enforceability.

Customizing Your Directive

There is no one-size-fits-all Advance Health Care Directive form. An elder law attorney can work closely with you to fully understand your wishes and beliefs about quality of life, life-sustaining treatments, pain management, organ donation preferences, and more. With thorough counsel, they can then craft a customized directive that leaves no ambiguity about your specific choices.

Consider Asset Protection

In addition to discussing your healthcare preferences, an elder law attorney can introduce other planning strategies that could complement your overall wishes, and plan for other possibilities like future incapacity or future needs for long-term care.

Discussing with Family

Another benefit of working with an attorney is that they can help facilitate family discussions about your healthcare wishes. An attorney can explain your AHCD and other legal planning to loved ones, mediate disagreements, and ensure everyone is on the same page about carrying out the plans you put in place.

While many health care providers promote the creation of an Advance Health Care Directive, an elder law attorney provides the legal guidance to ensure your AHCD is comprehensive and leaves no room for misinterpretation about your true wishes. Taking the time to create a proper directive with an attorney's counsel can give you and your family peace of mind.