Advance Healthcare Directives Lawyers in Cherry Hill, NJ Providing Assistance With Life-Planning Legal Needs
When individuals hear the term “advance directive,” they mistakenly believe that this legal document is only for seniors or those severely ill. However, many people may be the victim of an accident or experience a severe illness at any age.
Although an advance healthcare directive is often part of a comprehensive estate plan, it can also be a separate legal document used to express an individual’s medical preferences. Having an advance healthcare directive in place can help prevent court intervention where a judge has the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf.
Additionally, an advance healthcare directive can help spare your family the guesswork of trying to decide what type of medical care you do or do not want should you become incapacitated.
If you want to create an advance healthcare directive or would like more information, contact the Bratton Law Group of Cherry Hill, N.J., and ask to schedule a consultation with a qualified legal team member who will be happy to answer your questions.
What is an Advance Healthcare Directive in New Jersey?
Under New Jersey law, an advance healthcare directive allows an individual to specify what medical treatments or end-of-life options they prefer if they become incapacitated and cannot speak for themselves. An advance healthcare directive combines a healthcare proxy designation, and a living will.
One of the most considerable benefits of an advance healthcare directive is that it allows an individual to select a representative as their healthcare proxy. The individual designated as the healthcare proxy has the legal authority to make medical decisions on the individual’s behalf if they cannot do so for themselves.
The second portion of an advance healthcare directive is a living will. A living will should not be confused with a Last Will and Testament that instructs how an individual’s property should be distributed after they pass away. Instead, a living will only applies while the individual is alive and only for healthcare decisions. Furthermore, a living will outlines an individual’s wishes regarding what type of medical care or lifesaving measures they want or do not wish to receive.
If you still have questions regarding the benefits of creating an advance healthcare directive, contact our law office to schedule a consultation.
What Should Be Included in an Advance Healthcare Directive?
When creating an advance healthcare directive, it is vital to be as specific as possible so you can have greater control over the type of care you do or do not wish to receive.
One of the most significant portions of an advance healthcare directive is deciding who will be the healthcare proxy. It is in your best interest to choose someone who understands your wishes and will ensure they are carried out as per your instructions.
Some of the other designations that should be included in an advance healthcare directive include:
- An alternative decision maker should your healthcare proxy be unable or unwilling to fulfill their duties.
- A list of individuals you want to avoid making decisions on your behalf should your healthcare proxy of alternative be unavailable or unwilling to fulfill their roles.
- Your personal preferences regarding whether you do or do not wish to be on life support. If you wish to have life-sustaining measures, you must also be clear about how long they should continue and when you should be taken off life support.
- Any procedures you wish to avoid for religious reasons.
- Preferences or opposition to procedures if you are not on life support, such as do-not-resuscitate orders.
It is important to note that everyone’s situation greatly differs in terms of personal preferences when creating an advance directive. For this reason, you must hire an experienced advance healthcare directive lawyer like those of the Bratton Law Group who can help you create a legally binding document that will provide all the necessary details about the type of care you prefer.
When Does an Advance Directive Go Into Effect?
An advance healthcare directive legally goes into effect after it is signed, and you can no longer speak for yourself. You must also keep your advance directive in a safe place that is easy for you and others to access. In addition, it is also essential that your doctor, attorney, and the individual you have designated to be your healthcare proxy also have a copy of the advance directive. If you are admitted to the hospital, the facility must also have a copy of the directive.
You may make changes to your advance directive. However, all previous copies must be destroyed and replaced with the new one
Why is it Important to Have a Lawyer Help Me Create an Advance Directive?
In today’s modern world, many online options allow individuals to create advance directives. However, often these do-it-yourself options contain errors that can create legal problems or result in an advance directive being challenged by family members.
To avoid confusion or contention, hiring an experienced advance directive attorney to create the necessary legal documents is always in a person’s best interest. A knowledgeable attorney can ensure that the legal documents are written to hold up to legal scrutiny and ensure your final wishes for medical care are honored.
Our lawyers have extensive experience and will take time to listen to your concerns. If you want to create an advance healthcare directive or have questions, contact the Bratton Law Group of Cherry Hill, N.J., at 856 644 4283 and ask to schedule a consultation.