Life Support, Feeding Tubes Or Antibiotics — Which, If Any, Would You Want?
We have all heard the story — an accident (or a sudden infection) and a family at war over what to do next. Through a Michigan health care (or medical) power of attorney you can designate a health care representative (called a “patient advocate”) to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. In doing so, you spare your family, friends, and medical caregivers from the stressful and sometimes contentious process of trying to determine what your intentions would be if you could be heard and the equally divisive process of determining who gets to make your care-related decisions.
At Prince Law Firm in Detroit, our elder law lawyers help clients craft documents that leave clear direction for loved ones and the courts. If you would like to make arrangements for a consultation about a health care power of attorney (POA) contact our Bloomfield Hills office.
The Difference Between A Living Will And A Health Care Power Of Attorney
There is a lot of confusion out there about “living wills” and what they are. A living will, sometimes called an advance medical directive, is a document that specifically describes your wishes regarding health care measures such as artificial life support, feeding tubes, hydration, hospital care, and antibiotics if you are unable to communicate due to an illness or injury. However, Michigan law does not recognize a living will as a binding legal document. In fact, the term “living will” is nowhere to be found in Michigan law.
Instead, Michigan law allows individuals to make a “patient advocate designation” — more commonly known as a “health care power of attorney.” Unlike a living will, a health care power of attorney allows you to appoint a “patient advocate” to make decisions regarding medical care on your behalf if you are not competent or are unable to assist in your own care decisions. As estate planning professionals, we will gladly spend time helping you determine who that should be. We then encourage you to give that person very specific information regarding your wishes.
Every Adult Needs An Estate Plan
We never know what the road ahead holds for us. At Prince Law Firm, our attorneys assist every client in developing and maintaining a comprehensive and up-to-date estate plan that is appropriate for their current stage of life. If you want to meet with one of our lawyers about a will, a trust, or another issue, please call 248-419-1968 or e-mail our firm.