Power of Attorney and Health Care Directives

There are some specific legal documents that every person should have. These documents enable you to make vital decisions involving the most critical aspects of your life. By executing these documents, you are able to ensure that these decisions are left up to you rather than leaving stressful decisions up to loved ones. While each of these documents serve a different function, they are all equally important. Contact one of our Tennessee wills attorney with any questions that you may have regarding these important legal documents.

Power of Attorney

A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a legal document that gives another individual, the agent, the ability to act on behalf of a person in a time of need. The agent must act consistently with the desires of the principal that are explicitly stated in the document. However, the principal, the person granting the authority, is still able to make decisions as long as he or she is able to give informed consent. The agent is then able to consent to any care, or refuse any care, and even withdraw consent from any care. A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is important because: 1) it specifically states your desires for care and 2) grants the authority to make decisions to another individual by following the principal’s listed desires.

Living Will

A living will is a legal document known as an advanced directive that sets out a person’s desires for end of life care. Although often confused with a last will and testament, a living will is a completely different legal document but is equally necessary. Living wills often describe life-prolonging treatments when an individual is terminally ill or permanently unconscious. The individual will specifically declare which treatment that he or she would want or not want in the event of incapacitation. Often with difficult end-of-life situations, a family may feel a heavy burden when determining what choices to make. Creating a living will can provide peace of mind to anyone by ensuring that his or her desires will be honored without the prospect of stress or worry on the part of the family. This document is important because: 1) it outlines which treatment you may or may not want in the event that something happens and 2) it alleviates any possible stress on family members who are struggling with making a hard decision.

Appointment of Health Care Agent

An Appointment of Health Care Agent is another important legal document. This document gives permission to an agent to make health care decisions on behalf of the principal in the event that the principal cannot make decisions. While this document does not provide for the stated desires of the principal, it does allow another to make decisions regarding his or her medical care. An Appointment of Health Care Agent is important because it grants permission to another to make health care decisions if you are unable to do so.

Contact Our Office

If you are interested in drafting any of these important legal documents, we encourage you to contact our lawyers at The Higgins Firm Estate Group. Our Nashville based attorneys would be happy to answer any questions that you may have related to a Power of Attorney or other health care directives.