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A health care directive is a very important document that explains what kind of care you wish to receive in the case you become incapacitated. It also allows you to name a health care agent. This agent is someone who is given the authority to make health care decisions for you if you are in a situation that renders you unable to.
Health care directives are frequently referred to as “Advanced health Care Directives.” They may also be called Living Wills, Personal Directives, health Care proxies, Advance Decisions, or Advance Directives.
If you do not have a health care directive in place, it is important to establish one. This can prevent your family from having to make very difficult decisions regarding your care. Instead, they will know what your wishes are.
When it comes to your health care directive, your Duluth estate planning lawyer will provide you with the guidance you need to construct a directive that is detailed and relays everything your health care providers need to know. These directives tend to be a part of a much larger estate plan and they are useful when you are incapacitated.
However, your health care directive is only valid in Minnesota if the following exists:
It is a responsibility of your Duluth estate planning attorney to ensure that all of the important issues are addressed in your health care directive. These issues can include the assignment of health care agent(s), directions for the agent, your wishes as to medical treatment, the location you wish to receive treatment, your preferences in regards to mental health treatment, whether or not you wish to be an organ donor, and your desired burial and funeral provisions.
Including all of these elements in your health care directive will ensure your family will not be faced with decisions that they do not have to make. When a health care directive is not in place, the family is faced with having to make decisions that will have them questioning whether or not they made the right decision.
To ensure it can be enforced, the health care agent must be at least 18 years of age, they must be a third-party other than the doctor, the treatment requested cannot be beyond “reasonable” and the directive cannot demand assisted suicide.
A health care directive is a very valuable tool in ensuring your family does not have to make difficult decisions that they don’t want to have to make. Instead, you can make your wishes known and this makes matters easier for them. To discuss your options regarding health care directives, call the Benjamin Kaasa Law Office, PLLC at 218-464-3397 for a consultation.