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Advanced Healthcare Directives Lawyers in Linwood, NJ

Guiding Clients Through the Process of Recording Their Preferences for End-of-Life Decisions

Most people are aware of the importance of having a last will and testament and using it to record their wishes for what should happen to their assets after they pass away. But what can you do to ensure that your loved ones and your doctors know how you would like to be treated if you become incapacitated and unable to communicate your preferences? The attorneys at the Bratton Law Group explain how advanced healthcare directives work and why they should be part of your estate planning process regardless of your age or health. If you need help creating or updating your advanced healthcare directives in Linwood, NJ, or surrounding areas, contact the Bratton Law Group at 609-293-5369.

What Are Advanced Healthcare Directives?

Advanced healthcare directives, also referred to as advance directives, are legal documents that allow individuals to have a written record of their healthcare preferences and decisions in advance. These directives come into effect if the person becomes unable to communicate their wishes due to being incapacitated or in a terminal condition. Advanced healthcare directives provide guidance to healthcare professionals and loved ones regarding the individual’s wishes for medical treatment and end-of-life care, such as what type of life-sustaining treatments they wish to receive, how pain management should be addressed, and whether the individual wishes to be an organ donor.

Having advanced healthcare directives in place can help ensure that an individual’s healthcare decisions align with their personal values and beliefs. It can play a crucial role in relieving family members from the burden of making difficult decisions during emotionally challenging times and can potentially help prevent conflicts among loved ones regarding medical treatment. Advanced directives can also provide individuals with more peace of mind because they give them a way of recording their wishes and the certainty that their choices regarding their healthcare will be respected and followed, even if they are unable to communicate their wishes themselves.

Why Should Anyone Have Advanced Healthcare Directives in Place?

Having advanced healthcare directives in place is important for everyone, regardless of their age or health status. As discussed above, these documents allow individuals to have control over their own medical decisions and ensure that their wishes are honored. By clearly stating their preferences for medical treatments and end-of-life care choices, individuals can reduce the likelihood of potential conflicts among family members and provide guidance to healthcare professionals.

Secondly, advanced healthcare directives can provide peace of mind. Knowing that their healthcare choices will be respected and followed, individuals can have a sense of security and relief. This is particularly important for people with certain religious or cultural backgrounds that require them to receive medical care and end-of-life care following certain traditions or beliefs. Likewise, if your religion or culture requires your funeral arrangements to be carried out in a certain way, or if you simply have very specific wishes concerning your funeral and burial, you may also include your funeral preferences in your advanced healthcare directives.

What Other Documents Can Be Included in Your Advanced Healthcare Directives?

Besides a living will, there are several other documents that can be included in advanced healthcare directives. Those can include a durable power of attorney for healthcare, a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order, a Do Not Intubate (DNI) order, and a Do Not Hospitalize (DNH) order, for example.

A durable power of attorney for healthcare designates a trusted individual (called a healthcare proxy) to make medical decisions on behalf of the individual if they become incapacitated. A Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order, on the other hand, is a document that specifies that the individual does not want to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event of cardiac arrest. This decision is often made when an individual has a terminal illness and does not wish to undergo aggressive medical interventions. A Do Not Intubate (DNI) order lets hospital staff know a person does not wish to be placed on a ventilator. A Do Not Hospitalize (DNH) order indicates that a person does not wish to be sent to a hospital to receive end-of-life care.

Do You Need an Attorney to Write Your Advanced Healthcare Directives?

While you are not required to have an attorney in order to put together your advanced directives, it may be extremely helpful to rely on the guidance of a skilled advanced healthcare directives lawyer to guide you through the process. The attorneys at the Bratton Law Group serve clients in the Linwood, NJ, area and can help you create your advanced healthcare directives and other estate planning documents. Contact us at 609-293-5369 to learn more.