Advance Directives Attorney in Englewood, Colorado & Tustin, California
It’s impossible to know what exactly the future holds. Many people live long and healthy lives, but sometimes, an accident happens or an illness takes a turn for the worse, and an individual is left without the ability to make their own decisions.
In this situation, it’s important to have a legally-binding advance directive that describes your wishes for your medical care. Our team at The Law Offices of Bruce Peotter is here to assist you throughout the process of establishing an advance directive. We are dedicated to serving clients in Englewood, Colorado, as well as communities in and around Denver, and in Tustin and throughout Orange County, California.
What Is an Advance Directive (Living Will)?
An advance directive is a legally-binding document prepared in advance of, or before, you become unable to speak for yourself and make your own healthcare choices. Sometimes referred to as a living will, an advance healthcare directive allows you to give instructions about your healthcare and to name someone to make healthcare decisions for you.
Examples of advanced healthcare directives include living wills, a healthcare power of attorney, “do not resuscitate” orders, and physician orders for life-sustaining treatment.
Decisions Covered by an Advance Directive
An advance healthcare directive covers many different types of decisions, including:
Decisions about consenting to care or refusing care, treatment, services, or procedures to maintain, diagnose, or otherwise affect a physical or mental condition
Decisions about choosing or refusing certain healthcare providers and institutions
Decisions approving or disapproving diagnostic tests, surgical procedures, and medication programs
Decisions about donating organs and authorizing an autopsy
These are several, but not all, of the decisions an advance healthcare directive covers.
When you establish an advance healthcare directive, you will need to choose an agent who will make decisions on your behalf.
Who Can I Appoint?
You can appoint anyone who is at least 18 years old and who knows you well enough to be your healthcare representative. You cannot choose someone who is your doctor or who is a healthcare professional unless they are your family member.
What Are Their Responsibilities?
The healthcare representative can make all medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. They can authorize major medical decisions, such as which doctor or clinic you will attend, or where you will live. They also have power over decisions regarding your medications, tests, treatments, and who can be your doctors, nurses, and even social workers.
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Directive
A do not resuscitate (DNR) directive applies to situations where emergency medical services personnel are called to the scene.
For example, a DNR instructs this personnel on what to do if you should have a cardiopulmonary arrest—if you should receive CPR, assisted ventilation, intubation, and other medical treatments.
An experienced estate planning attorney can help you answer the questions you may have regarding what type of treatment you would want in this type of emergency situation.
POLST (Physician Orders for
A Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment establishes what type of care a seriously ill individual would like to receive at the end of their life. The form asks whether you would like to receive full treatment, selective treatment, or comfort-focused treatment if you are found in a specific situation. An estate planning attorney can help you establish a POLST that preserves your dignity and honors your wishes.
To change an advance healthcare directive, you must first have the capacity to be making healthcare decisions. You also must be acting freely without pressure from anyone. To be certain that the changes you have made to your advance healthcare directive are legally binding, consult with a skilled estate planning lawyer.
Advance Directives Attorney
in Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Establish an advance directive so that your wishes are legally binding. The Law Offices of Bruce Peotter can guide you through the process, from choosing a healthcare representative to answering nuanced questions. We’re committed to assisting our clients in Englewood, Colorado, as well as communities in and around Denver, and in Tustin, California, and throughout Orange County, including Irvine, Costa Mesa, and Santa Ana. Contact our firm today to set up your free consultation.