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Franklin Divorce Attorney > Blog > Estate Planning > What Is An Advance Directive?

What Is An Advance Directive?

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No one likes to consider what would happen if they were involved in an accident or become seriously ill, but these situations do arise, and it is best to be prepared. An advance directive is the best way to communicate your preferences in the event that an injury or illness prevents you from doing so yourself, and an experienced Tennessee estate planning attorney can help. At Fort, Holloway, & Rogers our team of dedicated legal professionals is here to help you create a comprehensive advance directive as part of your estate plan. To learn more, call or contact our office today.

Medical Power of Attorney

The first element of an advance directive is the medical power of attorney form, also sometimes referred to as a healthcare agent or a healthcare proxy. This form identifies a person who is allowed to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so yourself. You should only select someone that you trust and that is completely aware of your medical wishes as your medical power of attorney. However, if you incorporate the second element of an advance directive, the living will, your healthcare proxy is bound to the terms of that document when it comes to your medical care.

Living Will

A living will is the second element of an advance directive in Tennessee. This document specifically outlines your wishes for particular types of medical care and treatment options. Hospitals, healthcare professionals, and medical powers of attorney must adhere to the decisions outlined in a living will if you cannot communicate your wishes yourself. Some of the most common decisions included in a living will include the following:

  • A “Do Not Resuscitate” form,
  • Use of CPR,
  • Use of a feeding tube,
  • Dialysis,
  • Blood transfusions,
  • Diagnostic testing,
  • Use of ventilators or respirators,
  • Organ donation,
  • Pain management medications,
  • Palliative care,
  • Surgeries or other treatments, and other medical decisions.

When Should I Create an Advance Directive?

An accident or illness can happen at any time, which is why it is always recommended that you create an advance directive as soon as possible. If you wait until something happens, it is often too late. Not only will you be unable to communicate your choices for care, but it may also leave a loved one in the awful position of trying to determine what is best for you without your input. To learn more about advance directives and other important elements of a Tennessee estate plan, talk to our office today.

Call or Contact Us Now

Not only does an advance directive ensure that your medical preferences are adhered to, but it also provides peace of mind to your loved ones that all healthcare decisions are being made in accordance with your wishes. To learn more about creating an advance directive, call the office or contact us today at Fort, Holloway, & Rogers to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable Franklin estate planning & probate attorneys.

Resource:

law.cornell.edu/wex/living_will

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