Health care directives are an important part of an estate plan

Thinking about what would happen if you became incapacitated and unable to make medical decisions is not an uplifting topic for anyone in Oklahoma. But, working out these issues before they happen is important for a person’s peace of mind and is a gift for loved ones in case the unthinkable happens.

Health care directives are legal documents that spell out what medical treatments a person would want. Health care directives allow a person to make these decisions before anything happens to them. They are often used when there is a medical emergency or at the end of a person’s life. Medical directives become effective when doctors certify that a person cannot make medical decisions on their own and that a person is in a condition specified in the living will law and a person meets the state’s other requirements.

A living will is a document that allows a person to specify what medical procedures they want performed on them. It is designed to guide doctors and family members during a medical crisis and is usually used for a person’s end-of-life care. A health care power of attorney is a person designated to make medical decisions on behalf of someone who cannot make these decisions.

A legal professional who is skilled in estate administration and probate can help their client create these important documents. They can advise their clients on how the legal process works for health care directives and can make sure these documents are in place in case something happens. Once the documents are created, a person should make several copies and distribute them to their doctor and other family members.

Source: FindLaw, “What are advance directives?“, accessed Dec. 19, 2017

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