Cortes Law Firm, a practice based in Oklahoma City, OK, has released a blog post explaining what is an Advanced Directive and its importance. This particular document is also known as the living will and has the purpose of indicating the wishes of a person with regards to medical treatment in the event they are unable to communicate, such as incapacitation. Thus, it provides guidance to the health care professionals about the medical treatment the person would want in case they are unable to make decisions for themselves.
Steve Cortes, who heads the law firm, explains, “An advance health care directive, also known as living will or advanced directive is a legal document in which a person specifies what actions should be taken for their health if they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves because of illness or incapacity. Legal instruments such as Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will and Advanced Directives can help in these situations.”
It is important to note that advanced directives or living wills are not just for older adults. Situations that may cause a person to become incapacitated and unable to communicate to doctors and caregivers on their preferences for medical care, can happen at any age. One example of an advanced directive is a medical or health care power of attorney. This is also known as a durable power of attorney for health care or a health care proxy. Choosing someone to act as health care agent is essential. The choice of this health care agent will be based on the following criteria: the state’s requirements for a health care agent; not the client’s doctor or a part of one’s medical care team; willing and able to talk about medical care and end-of-life decisions; can be trusted to make decisions based on one’s wishes; and can be trusted to be one’s advocate in the event of a disagreement with regards to medical care.
In the case of an unconscious person who is suffering from a life-threatening injury or from a terminal illness, hospitals and doctors will consult the living will or advanced directive to decide on whether to provide life-sustaining treatment, such as tube feeding or assisted breathing. In case there is no living will or advanced directive, it will be up to the spouse, family members, or other third parties to decide. Some of the things that may be included in the advanced directive are possible end-of-life care decisions, such as: cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); mechanical ventilation; tube feeding; dialysis; antibiotics or antiviral medications; comfort care or palliative care; organ and tissue donations; and donating one’s body for scientific study. The advanced directive must be reviewed and replaced with a new one in case: there is a new diagnosis; a change in marital status; and regularly every 10 years.
Founded in 2013, Cortes Law Firm is headed by Attorney Steve Cortes, who serves as a probate and estate planning lawyer for families, businesses, and entrepreneurs in Oklahoma City and neighboring areas. He has over 22 years of legal experience in both the private and public sectors. He has a special perspective when it comes to the importance of proper estate planning. During the estate planning process, they will prepare several documents for their clients and discuss with them the value of titling assets to ensure the estate planning documents will be working in according to the client’s wishes. They aim to make the estate planning process quick, accessible, and efficient to encourage people to create and finish their plan. Attorney Cortes has an active membership with the WealthCounsel, which is a national organization of top estate planning professionals. As a probate lawyer, he is ready to guide clients in going through the legal process and in distributing the client’s estate based on the wishes of the client.
Those who want to get more details about the Advanced Directive can visit the Cortes Law Firm website, call them on the phone or contact them through email. They are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, from Monday to Friday.
Stephen Cortes is an Oklahoma City attorney with over 22 years of legal experience. We have a unique perspective on how important proper planning can be for businesses, entrepreneurs, and families.
5801 Broadway Extension Hwy Suite 110
Oklahoma City, OK, 73118
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