5 Facts About Health Care Directives Your May Not Have Known

First of all, what's a health care directive? Health care directives come into play in stressful situations involving the health of your loved ones. They can ensure that your loved one's wishes are met and keep your family members from having to make an extremely difficult decision in a heartbreaking situation. Our estate planning attorneys at the Lake of the Ozarks understand how complicated health care directives may seem, which is why Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter & Welch are here to give you a few facts about health care directives you may not have known.

5 Facts About Health Care Directives Your May Not Have Known

Fact # 1
You don't have to have a living will to stop treatment.
If your loved one is being treated for an illness, but that treatment is no longer working or helping them in any way, there doesn't always have to be a living will to stop treatment. Typically, if there is no health care directive a person designated to make health care decisions through a power of attorney may decide to stop treatment, but having a health care directive in place can make things much simpler for you, your family and everyone involved.

Fact # 2
Doctors don't necessarily have to comply with your wishes.
Yes, health care directives are legal documents that must be complied with, but there are cases where a doctor can refuse because he or she feels your wishes are medically inappropriate. If that's the case, the doctor may transfer you to another health care professional that will comply with your wishes.

Fact # 3
The "Five Wishes" can accompany your health care directive.
The Five Wishes are in addition to legal medical wishes that are already stated in your health care directive or living will. These wishes are put into a special document that can specify how you'd want more personal matters handled. For example, you could state that you'd want your pet at your side as you approach the end of your life.

Fact # 4
No one can ever be forced to complete a health care directive.
Having a health care directive drafted is completely voluntary and must be something you actually want and agree to do.

Fact # 5
Health care directives can be changed.
You may change your mind on how you want things to happen as you near the end of your life. It's important that when you do, you let your lawyer know, so they can make the changes to your wishes in your health care directive.

Do You Need Assistance Completing Your Health Care Directive?

No one likes thinking about what may happen when they pass away, but having a health care directive in place can help take some of the stress off your loved one if a difficult decision needs to be made. Health care directives can also make sure your wishes are met when you are not physically able to speak for yourself. If you decide that a healthcare directive is what you personally need and you think it will make you feel more comfortable in your time of need, Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter & Welch can help you draft this document. Our attorneys at the Lake of the Ozarks have a great deal of experience drafting many other documents that also allow your wishes to be known in difficult situations, such as:

  • wills
  • trusts
  • powers of attorney
  • living wills
  • guardianships
  • conservatorships
  • probate administration

If you have questions about health care directives or on how to set up any one of these documents, call 573-346-7231 today to set up your free consultation. We have evening and weekend appointments available. Our firm is conveniently located by the Camden County courthouse, and we have an open door policy for clients to just stop by to discuss their legal needs.

Law Offices of Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter, & Welch, P.C.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising. When you need a knowledgeable attorney, we invite you to contact us to set up a consultation. Evening and weekend appointments are available. We have access to interpreters.

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Camdenton, MO 65020   GET A MAP
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