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Advance Directives Attorney in Blaine, Minnesota

Thinking about potential incapacity or that your medical treatment wishes may not be known or followed by doctors and your loved ones after you become incapacitated can be scary and frustrating.

Fortunately, estate planning has a legal instrument that allows individuals to dictate how they wish to be cared for when they can no longer communicate their wishes or make decisions on their own. The instrument is known as an “advance directive.”

As an estate planning attorney at The Law Office of Robert J. Everhart, PLC, I assist clients with planning for their future before it is too late. I understand that creating an advance directive can be a sensitive matter, which is why I am prepared to provide compassionate counsel and guide you through every step of the process. I serve the estate planning needs of clients in Blaine and other parts of Minnesota, including Ramsey, Sherburne, and Hennepin counties.

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What Is an Advance Directive?

An advance directive, sometimes called a living will, is an essential component of a comprehensive estate plan. The purpose of this legal document is to spell out your wishes for medical care and leave instructions for healthcare professionals when you can no longer make decisions yourself.

Some states, including Minnesota, combine a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care into a single legal instrument. That document is an advance directive. Thus, instead of drafting a living will and naming a health care representative through a durable power of attorney, you can use an advance directive.

Creating an advance directive may require the assistance of a skilled attorney because an attorney knows how to prepare this document in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Consider contacting an advance directives attorney in Blaine, Minnesota, to help you get started.

Why Do You Need an Advance Directive?

A well-crafted advance directive eliminates the possibility of speculation over what medical care you should and should not receive. In Minnesota, you can use an advance directive to name a person, also known as your agent or health care representative, to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

No one ever plans to become incapacitated. However, being prepared for this unfortunate scenario can give you and your loved ones peace of mind and clarity. That is why most people can benefit from preparing an advance directive before it is too late.

The Appointment of a
Health Care Representative

As mentioned earlier, an advance directive allows you to name a person who would make medical decisions on your behalf if you lose your capacity to communicate decisions about your health care on your own. The appointment of a health care representative also authorizes the patient’s medical providers to share information about the treatment with the designated agent.

Who can you appoint to act as your health care representative? While you can appoint anyone, it is critical to select someone you trust enough to fulfill their duties as your health care representative. It may be your spouse, partner, child, grandchild, sibling, close friend, or even your attorney.

DNR Directive and POLST

Those who create an advance directive also need to learn about a DNR directive and POLST:

  • DNR refers to a do not resuscitate order that prohibits the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), which is performed to restore breathing or restart your heart in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest.

  • POLST stands for Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment. This legal instrument gives you more control over your end-of-life care because you can decide what kind of medical procedures you want and do not want ahead of time. A POLST is the product of a conversation between a health care provider and their patient.

As you can see, there are many options for ensuring that your wishes about what kind of medical care you want will be honored even if you become incapacitated.

Making Modifications
to an Advance Directive

Advance directives do not have an expiration date. An advance directive remains in effect for the rest of the patient’s life unless the patient decides to make modifications. Every time a patient prepares a new advance directive, the previous one becomes invalid.

Because our priorities, needs, and goals change over time, it is critical to review your advance directive periodically. You want to make sure that your advance directive still reflects your wishes. If you would like to make modifications to the existing document, you would have to create a new advance directive.

If you decide to change your advance directive, inform everyone who should know about the modification, including your family and medical providers.

Advance Directives Attorney Serving Blaine, MN

As an advance directives attorney at The Law Office of Robert J. Everhart, PLC, I can assist you with your estate planning needs and help you ensure that you receive the medical care you want no matter what happens. You can reach out to my office in Blaine, Minnesota, to get more information about how you can plan for your future with an advance directive. Get your free initial consultation today.