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5 Tips for Making Sure Your Advance Medical Directives Are Followed

Posted on in Estate Planning and Probate

San Antonio living will attorneyAdvance medical directives are extremely important for everyone. Even if you are young and healthy, you never know when an emergency could arise, and you will need those documents to fall back on. For those who are older or anticipate that they may become incapacitated in the near future, these documents are critical. Living wills, medical powers of attorney, and Do Not Resuscitate orders are your voice when you can no longer speak for yourself. Everyone has their own wishes regarding what types of care they would or would not want to receive should they become incapacitated and seriously ill. Creating an incapacity plan to express these wishes is the first step. Making sure that your wishes are going to be carried out in practice is equally important. 

Steps You Can Take Toward Ensuring That Your Wishes Are Respected

You know what your wishes are better than anyone else. Unfortunately, not everyone may agree with your decisions. Family members sometimes make irrational decisions during times of emotional stress, especially when a loved one seems to be dying. Some measures you can make to keep your documents in control of the situation include: 

  • Visibility - If you do not wish to be resuscitated, make sure that any emergency responders will see your DNR before they start the process of reviving you. Hang a copy above your bed or over your favorite chair. Other documents should be kept somewhere that they can be easily located. 
  • Choosing the right POA - Think very carefully about who to name as your medical power of attorney. Make sure this individual understands and respects your wishes and is prepared to carry them out, no matter what. For example, if you know that your sister has deeply held religious views about preserving life at all costs, when you would rather be allowed to pass away peacefully in certain situations, consider someone else. 
  • Distributing copies - Your health care team should have a copy of any advance directives you have made. If you live in a care home, they should have your documents on file, as should the hospital you normally use and any hospital you may be taken to in an emergency. Your power of attorney should also have copies. 
  • Clarity - Make sure that your wishes are expressed as clearly and explicitly as possible. Be as specific as you can. 
  • Put it in writing- If you do not already have advance directives, the time to make them is right now. No amount of talking about what your wishes would be with your loved ones can help you if you do not follow through with creating legally binding documents. 

Your attorney will also be able to give your further advice based on your own unique situation. 

Let a Texas Advance Directives Attorney Help

Geoff Mayfield, Attorney at Law is dedicated to helping our clients create strong and enforceable medical and incapacity planning documents. Our helpful Comal County advance directive lawyers will work with you to make sure that we are taking all possible steps to make sure that your wishes are going to be carried out. Contact us at 210-535-0870 for a free consultation. 



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