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What Healthcare Directives Should Be Included in My Estate Plan?

Posted on in Estate Planning

Milwaukee living trust attorney

By Attorney Denis Regan

No matter what stage of your life you are in, it is important to establish an estate plan. Whether you are 18 or 88 years old, planning for the future can make life for yourself, as well as your family and friends, a lot easier should unexpected events arise.

What Is a Healthcare Directive?

A healthcare directive allows you to choose what forms of medical care you want to receive in certain situations. This may include any life-sustaining treatments you want to be performed if an injury or illness results in a terminal condition or a persistent vegetative state without any chance of recovery. A healthcare directive ensures you get exactly what you want if you are ever unable to say so.

Directives to Include in Your Estate Plan

When it comes to estate planning, the level of simplicity or complexity can vary based on your wants and needs. The healthcare directives that can be incorporated into your estate plan include:

  • Living Wills. A living will establishes certain healthcare decisions to be made in the event that you are no longer able to decide for yourself. This may come into play if you ever suffer from Alzheimer's or dementia, or if you suffer a terminal injury or illness or are in a vegetative state. 
  • Do-Not-Resuscitate Order. This type of medical order, which is also known as a DNR, is created and written by a doctor. It will state that no healthcare physician or doctor should perform CPR on you if you happen to stop breathing or your heart stops beating.
  • Trusts. A living trust can ensure that your assets will be managed and cared for by a stated third party. The trust can specify how these assets will be used to provide you with medical care and ensure that your ongoing needs will be met.
  • Power of Attorney for Healthcare. A power of attorney allows you to name an individual (known as an “agent”) who is authorized to make decisions on your behalf. In a healthcare power of attorney, you can decide which types of decisions your agent is and is not allowed to make, including what forms of care you do or do not want to receive and how certain end-of-life matters will be handled.
  • Guardianship. If you are unable to make healthcare decisions for yourself, or if you need help managing your day to day needs, a person may be appointed as your guardian. A guardian of the person will provide for your current and future safety, quality of life, and healthcare needs.

Contact Our Milwaukee Living Will Attorneys 

At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, we provide exceptional estate planning services, and we will work with you to determine what healthcare directives should be included in your estate plan and ensure that your needs will be properly met, no matter what happens. Contact our Milwaukee, WI estate planning lawyers at 414-271-1440 today.

Sources:

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/guide/end-life-planning.htm 

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/forms/advdirectives/adformspoa.htm 

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000473.htm

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