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Estate planning: Stay in control with advance medical directives

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Estate Planning

Do you ever feel concerned about your medical care if you become unable to make your decisions and speak for yourself? It is a common concern for many as they approach their senior years.

Advance medical directives can empower you to shape your future health care journey, even when you’re not at the helm. The following can help you understand these invaluable estate planning documents.

What are advance medical directives?

They are legal documents that can speak for you when you can’t. These directives encompass various forms, allowing you to specify your preferences for future medical care in advance.

What types of directives are available?

In Pennsylvania, you can choose between several advance directives, depending on your needs and situation.

  • Living will declaration: Details specific medical treatments you would or would not want in certain situations, like life support.
  • Durable power of attorney for health care: Appoints a trusted individual to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable.
  • Mental health declaration: Outlines your preferred mental health treatment approach during a crisis.
  • Mental health power of attorney: Designates someone to make mental health treatment decisions for you if you’re unable to do so.

One or a combination of these documents can strengthen the medical portion of your estate plan.

Why do I need them?

They offer rewards beyond legal protection. They can provide some peace about the future, ease your family in troubling times and clarify your treatment wishes, to name just a few.

How do I create them?

Drafting advance directives can be complex, but an estate planning professional can streamline the process. Their guidance can help to ensure that your wishes are accurately documented and legally sound.


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