Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and sometimes catastrophic events like an unexpected passing happen suddenly. Most people do not want to think about such life-altering events, so they choose to ignore them instead. Ignoring the inevitable can cause massive family rifts in deciding who will be responsible for medical bills for the sick party. It is important to know how to protect yourself in these instances to ensure a smooth transition during an already difficult time.
Media wills and estates lawyers can help create a living will which designates health care preferences in case a loved one becomes incapable of caring for themselves. Living wills do not only call for limiting the use of life-prolonging treatment, but can also be used to instruct medical personnel to administer all forms of medical treatments available, even those that are experimental. Lawsuits over medical care are common as medical providers and family members often do not agree on treatment methods for terminal patients, leading to costly conflicts. A Media wills and estates lawyer can help prepare a will with specific instructions regarding different treatment methods like chemotherapy, feeding tubes, and life support. The law requires medical practitioners follow what is written in the living will, even if it conflicts with their professional opinion. It should be noted that a living will only goes into effect if a person goes into a coma or is otherwise unable to make their own medical decisions. If a person is coherent and understanding of their medical procedures, they will be consulted directly over utilizing the will’s instructions.
It is also prudent to select a power of attorney to represent you in the case of medical emergencies. A power of attorney is helpful because it allows a trusted individual to make important decisions on your behalf such as collecting social security and retirement benefits, or distribution of checking or savings accounts. This power also grants individuals authority to handle day to day affairs such as paying bills and rent or taking care of personal matters. The powers given to this individual can be broad or limited, and a lawyer can help you determine the restrictions that will be put in place, as requirements vary by state. A lawyer can also help make recommendations on the best party to handle medical vs financial affairs. In some cases, it is wiser to appoint two different individuals for these tasks.
If a durable power of attorney has not been chosen and an individual becomes incapacitated, the court may appoint a guardian. A guardian is tasked with managing the financial, medical, and living arrangements of an impaired individual. Selecting a guardian can be helpful for some people who fear their family members will try to force their best interests onto medical providers. It is mandatory for guardians and individuals selected as power of attorney to act in your best interest and keep their matters separate, otherwise a court can remove them or assign someone new.
It is vital to plan ahead in life to eliminate unnecessary stress that can come when unexpected catastrophes occur. Schedule time now to talk with a knowledgeable advocate at the Media wills and estates law firm of Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. at 610-565-3700 or contact us online. Our Media wills and estates lawyers put your personal affairs first so you do not have to worry later.