Living wills and other advance directives are written, legal instructions regarding your preferences for medical care if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Advance directives guide choices for doctors and caregivers if you’re terminally ill, seriously injured, in a coma, in the late stages of dementia or near the end of life.
By planning ahead, you can get the medical care you want, avoid unnecessary suffering and relieve caregivers of decision-making burdens during moments of crisis or grief. You also help reduce confusion or disagreement about the choices you would want people to make on your behalf.
Advance directives aren’t just for older adults. Unexpected end-of-life situations can happen at any age, so it’s important for all adults to prepare these documents.
WHAT IS A POWER OF ATTORNEY?
A power of attorney (POA) or letter of attorney is a written authorization to represent or act on another’s behalf in private affairs, business, or some other legal matter, sometimes against the wishes of the other. The person authorizing the other to act is the principal, grantor, or donor (of the power).
WHAT IS A GENERAL WILL?
A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his or her estate and provides for the distribution of his or her property at death.
WHERE CAN I GET STARTED?
Reaching out to your local attorney would be a great starting point. We have had great success with Parker, Hayes & Lovinger, PC of Hillsdale. Their phone number is 517.437.7210
However, there are many resources online that will provide free or low cost wills or POA.