DuPage County Estate Planning LawyerFor many people, estate planning and incapacitation planning are responsibilities that get put off as long as possible. Understandably, most people do not want to face their own mortality and plan for incapacitation or death. However, these responsibilities are extremely important and should not be procrastinated. A severe injury or illness can occur at any time to anyone.

Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to make decisions about how your medical and financial decision making will be handled if you cannot make the decisions yourself.

Types of Advance Directives

Advance directives allow you to remain in control of your personal affairs even if you are incapacitated by a medical condition. Using these documents, you will make decisions in advance so that there is no question as to what your wishes are, in the event that you cannot express the wishes yourself. Some of the most common advanced directives include:

  • Power of Attorney – A power of attorney is an estate planning document that allows you to assign a proxy or agent who will make decisions on your behalf. A medical power of attorney or healthcare power of attorney allows somebody else to make medical decisions on your behalf. It is important to choose somebody to act as power of attorney that understands your personal wishes, religious beliefs, and what types of medical care you would or would not want if you were incapacitated. You can also set up a financial power of attorney who will pay your bills and manage your finances if you cannot do so yourself.

  • Living Will – A living will is a document that describes the specific types of medical treatments you do and do not consent to. For example, do you wish to be put on a ventilator if you are near death? Do you consent to organ or tissue donation? If you are in a coma or permanent vegetative state, do you wish to be kept alive through tube feeding and other means?

Why Do I Need an Advance Directive?

The main reason that people get advance directives is to ensure that their medical and financial affairs are handled appropriately. Many people have strong beliefs about life-sustaining care, organ donation, and related matters. They want to make sure their wishes are honored.

However, another crucial reason to consider an advance directive is to protect your family. When there are no legal documents in place explaining how decisions should be made on behalf of an incapacitated person, their family is left to handle these decisions with no guidance. This can be a huge burden and even result in significant family conflict. Establish advanced directives now so that you know your wishes will be followed and that your family will not be burdened with guessing what your wishes are.

Contact our Cook County Estate Planning Lawyers

At [[title]], our Cook County estate planning attorneys know that incapacitation planning and estate planning are complicated and stressful. However, we are here to help you every step of the way and make the process as painless as possible. Call our office at [[phone]] today to set up a confidential consultation.




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