Five Things You Need to Know About Advanced Healthcare Directives
By CarePatrol of Fox Cities
Whenever you go to the doctor’s office, they ask about your advanced healthcare directives. Prior to any major medical decisions, you are asked about your advanced healthcare directives. When you are planning your estate, your lawyer asks you about your advanced healthcare directives, yet many people don’t have one. Most don’t plan because they feel they are too young or they don’t understand what an advanced healthcare directive is.
Here are five things you need to know about having one:
1. You are never too young The moment you become a legal adult you are in charge of making your healthcare decisions. Completing an advanced healthcare directive ensures that your wishes are carried out if you can’t make them.
2. Review your directives every year. Circumstances in your life change. You might get married, you might get divorced, you might change your mind on who you want as your Power of Attorney to carry out your advanced directives. You might change your mind on what procedures you want and don’t want. Take the time to review your advanced healthcare directives every year.
3. Know your state’s activation policies. In Wisconsin, a power of attorney is not allowed to make healthcare decisions or inquire about your healthcare with your physician until it is activated by a statement of incompetency that must be signed by two physicians. It can also be reversed when you are able to make your own healthcare decisions again. With every state being different, you want to consult with a local expert if you have questions.
4. You don’t need an attorney to complete one. An elder care attorney is well versed in everything you need to protect yourself and your assets, however, when it comes to completing your advanced healthcare directives, you do have additional and sometimes FREE options. You can contact your local Aging and Disability Resource Office, complete the forms the doctor’s office provides, or arranged to work with a Certified Senior Advisor. Here in Northeast Wisconsin, the Fox Valley Advance Care Planning Partnership can provide you with documents, guidance, and seminars on filling out the documents at any time. Their number is (920) 997-8412.
5. They don’t cover everything. When it comes to your advanced healthcare directives, that is all the paperwork covers. It doesn’t determine your financial power of attorney or manage your estate if anything