top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureJose Roman

Estate planning is not just about your property

By: Jose Roman


Estate planning is not just about your property when you pass away. It can also involve who makes medical decisions for you while you are alive. In order to include medical decision making as part of your estate plan you should consider creating a healthcare power of attorney (HPOA) along with a living will.

An HPOA allows you to name someone else, called a healthcare agent, to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to make them for yourself. The HPOA is then given to your doctor, a hospital or other medical facility that you are receiving treatment from, so they are aware who can make decisions for you. The important thing to understand is that the ability of the person you name to make medical decisions on your behalf does not go into effect unless you are unable to make them for yourself. So long as you are able to make medical decisions on your own then doctors and medical staff have an obligation to discuss your treatment with you. You are also able to limit or expand what medical decisions your healthcare agent can make so that their authority is limited to your wishes.

An HPOA can also incorporate a living will. A living will allows you to put into writing how you want to be treated if you have an end stage, incurable condition with no hope of recovery. Just like the HPOA, if you are able to make decisions on your own then you should be consulted about your treatment. The living will only goes into effect if you are unable to make your own decisions, and only if you have a condition that you will not recover from at the end of your life. The living will allows you to decide if you want CPR, breathing tubes, feeding tubes, hydration tubes and more at the end of your life.


An HPOA also presents you the opportunity to designate whether or not you want to be an organ donor. In Pennsylvania you can designate on your driver's license whether or not you want to be an organ donor. Having your organ donation status in an HPOA allows you to limit what types of organs you would like to donate, where the organs will be used, whether you would like to donate your organs to research and more. Your instructions in the HPOA allow you to have more control over your organ donation status more so than your driver's license can.

Creating an HPOA and living will present some uncomfortable conversations that most people do not want to confront, but those conversations should be had and your wishes should be documented in writing. Having an HPOA and living will can make your wishes clear to your family and medical staff and save you and your family a lot of future headaches. Don't overlook these critical estate planning documents.

If you would like to learn about creating your Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Will please visit www.romanestatelaw.com/book-online to book a consultation today.

32 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page