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What Is An Advanced Medical Directive?

Estate planning is about more than simply deciding who will inherit your money and property when you pass away. Your estate plan should always protect you in the event that you become temporarily or permanently incapacitated. Preparing for your health care needs—and potential incapacity—is an essential part of the overall estate planning process. 

An advanced medical directive or directive to Physicians is an estate planning document that helps to ensure that your healthcare wishes will be respected, even if you are not in a position to express them. In this blog post, our San Antonio estate planning lawyers provide a more in depth overview of advanced medical directives in Texas. 

Advanced Medical Directives: What You Should Know

Advanced medical directives go by a lot of names. You may hear them referred to as personal directives, directives to physicians, advance directives, or simply a living will. As defined by Johns Hopkins Medicine an advanced medical directive is “a written document that tells your health care providers” how medical decisions should be handled in the event that “you become unable to speak for yourself.”

Most often, advanced medical directives are used to provide clear instructions for end-of-life care. Late-stage medical treatment is a sensitive subject for many people. By drafting advanced medical directives (a living will), you make sure that your wishes of end-of-life care are respected by doctors and your family members, even if you are not in a position to provide input. 

A Living Will Is Legally Enforceable In Texas

Advanced medical directives (living wills) are legally enforceable estate planning documents. As long as your advance directives are property drafted by an experienced attorney, medical professionals must abide by them. If you write a living will, it is crucial that it says exactly what you want it to say. Ultimately, the purpose is to give you control over your own medical decision. 

How Do Medical Directives Impact A Medical Power Of Attorney?

An advanced medical directive is not the only healthcare-related estate planning document that you should set up. A comprehensive estate plan should also contain powers of attorney, including a medical power of attorney. Simply put, a medical power of attorney allows you to appoint a trusted surrogate to make medical decisions on your behalf. You can give your healthcare power of attorney to the same person who has your durable power of attorney (financial/legal decision-making authority) or you can split these responsibilities up. 

Notably, the person with your medical power of attorney cannot override your living will. When drafted properly, the instructions contained within your living will regarding end-of-life care will always hold. That being said, it is not always possible to anticipate all of your future medical needs ahead of time. For that reason, you should appoint a trusted family member or loved one as your healthcare surrogate even if you have comprehensive advanced medical directives in place.  

A San Antonio Estate Planning Lawyer Will Help Plan for Future Health Needs

Estate planning is personal. The estate planning strategy that works well for your neighbor might not be the right approach for you and your family. Our San Antonio, TX estate planning lawyers will take the time to sit down with you, answer your questions, and help you develop a comprehensive plan that fully accounts for all of your future medical/healthcare needs. 

Schedule a Confidential Consultation With Our Estate Planning Lawyer Today

At Weisinger Law Firm, PLLC, our Texas estate planning lawyers are focused on helping people and families find true peace and protection. A well-crafted estate plan should take care of your health needs. If you have any questions about advanced medical directives, we are here to help. Call us now or send us a message online to set up a strictly confidential initial consultation. With an office in Selma, our law firm provides estate planning services throughout the surrounding area, including in Bexar County, Comal County, Wilson County, Guadalupe County, and Kendall County.