What You Need to Know About Medical Directives

Medical directives are essential. Do you have a medical directive in place? Are you putting it off because you’re currently healthy, and don’t see the need? It’s more essential to establish a medical directive (which is also called an advance directive or living will), while you are healthy. This ensures you have time to make informed decisions and are of sound mind to make important choices about your care. 


Types of Medical Directives

The first thing you should know about medical directives is that there are numerous types of these. Some can include living wills, durable power of attorney for healthcare, and do not resuscitate (DNR) orders. These fall under medical directives, but there are key differences between them. Living wills outline your preferences for medical treatment if you become incapacitated. A durable power of attorney for healthcare designates a person to make medical decisions on your behalf if you can’t do so. DNR orders indicate that you do not want to be resuscitated in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest.


Importance of Medical Directives

Medical directives ensure your wishes regarding your medical care are respected, even if you are unable to communicate them. These documents also help reduce stress and confusion for your family members and medical professionals by providing clear guidance on your medical preferences. This means your loved ones don’t have to weigh over a decision and try to think about what you would want – you have decided for them and they just need to carry it out.


How to Create a Medical Directive

Creating a medical directive involves documenting your medical preferences and appointing a healthcare proxy to make medical decisions on your behalf. These documents can be created with an estate planning attorney and must be signed in the presence of witnesses or a notary public, depending on the state’s requirements.


Keeping Medical Directives Updated

 It is important to review and update medical directives regularly with your estate planning attorney to ensure that they reflect your current preferences. Changes in health status, medical treatments, and personal relationships may all require updates to your medical directives. For example, if you get divorced, you might want to change who is allowed to make decisions on your behalf. 


Accessing Medical Directives

Medical directives should be stored in a safe and accessible location, and copies should be provided to family members, healthcare providers, and the designated healthcare proxy. Medical alert bracelets or wallet cards can also be used to provide quick access to your medical directives in an emergency. It’s essential to make sure the right people are informed so your wishes are carried out.


Medical directives let you make decisions about your medical care long before you fall ill. These ensure your wishes are followed and that the right people are communicating your choices on your behalf. It’s important to work with an estate planning attorney to create your medical directives and update them as needed. 


Why Hire Us

Medical directives are not just for the elderly or terminally ill. These are for everyone – and should be established when you are healthy. This gives you the most control over your care when you do fall ill. To create your medical directives, let our estate planning attorneys at Johnstone Adams LLC help you. 


Ranked in the 2023 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list regionally in 12 practice areas, we have experts in many areas of law to give our clients top-notch representation. In business for more than a century, our firm can mix its experience with the ability to evolve with the changing times.


To get started, contact us at 844-682-7682 or info@johnstoneadams.com.

Font Resize