I’m always being asked by my doctor if I have a Living Will or advance directive documents. What are these? by Jesica Thorson
Advance directive documents are simply making a decision about the care you would want to receive if you were unable to speak for yourself. It involves deciding who will be your voice and advocate as well as specific treatment you do or do not wish to receive. In Indiana, the legal documents you need for advance care planning are called a Durable Power of Attorney, an Appointment of a Health Care Representative and a Living Will. The purpose of a Durable Power of Attorney is to name someone that can make financial decisions for you if you were unable to do so for yourself. When naming someone your attorney-in-fact, you need to make sure this person is financially sound and able to make wise business decisions. The purpose of an Appointment of a Health Care Representative is to name someone that can make health care decisions for you if you were unable to do so for yourself. When naming someone as your health care representative, you need to make sure this person knows what your wishes and beliefs are in regards to continuing and withdrawing medical treatment. A Living Will is a document where you give direction to your loved ones should you be in a prolonged vegetative state. It is a good idea to talk to an elder law attorney as well as your family and primary care physician when finalizing these documents.