What Legal Documents Should Everyone Have Ready for Emergencies?

The Big Five Wills, Advanced Directive, Health Care Power of Attorney, Durable Power of Attorney and Revocable or Family Trust are all essential legal documents everyone should have in place. Learn more about these documents from Bernard A.

What Legal Documents Should Everyone Have Ready for Emergencies?

No one plans to get sick, but people of all ages can get too sick to make their own medical and health care decisions. The Big Five Wills, the Advanced Directive, the Health Care Power of Attorney, the Durable Power of Attorney, and the Revocable or Family Trust are all essential legal documents that everyone should have in place. A power of attorney for health care allows you to choose who you would like to have as a representative if you are unable to communicate or make your own medical decisions. This document is important for everyone, and even more so if you have children or are the caregiver of other people.

Don't confuse this document with a living will (more on that later). A living will only applies when it is determined that a person is permanently unconscious, has a terminal illness, or a serious disability for another similar reason, as provided in the laws of their state. If you are temporarily unconscious or temporarily unable to communicate for any other reason, the person you designate in your living will cannot make health care decisions for you. To do this, you need a medical power of attorney. If you can't manage your own financial needs, perhaps because you're hospitalized, a financial power of attorney allows the designated person to make financial and legal decisions for you.

He or she can access your bank accounts, pay your bills, and much more. Once again, this is a crucial document to complete and sign, after carefully selecting the right person. A living will is an advance directive that allows people to express their wishes to receive medical care as they enter the final stage of their lives. This allows doctors and hospitals to know how to proceed when a person can no longer communicate their wishes. This document also helps family members to be clear about what exactly a loved one's wishes are at the end of life.

Without this document, doctors and family members are in the precarious situation of having to guess their preferences. When people disagree, the situation can become controversial, even to the point of becoming a matter for the courts to decide. Many people want palliative care, which means that, if they are in pain, doctors can take steps to reduce and control symptoms and suffering. A more important question when creating a living will is whether you want extraordinary measures to be taken or not. For example, if doctors determine that you need CPR to be rescued, do you want to have that procedure done?Although the name matches the will and the will, the living will is actually quite different.

This is a document that tells doctors, health professionals, and families what treatments you want to receive if you are about to die, are permanently unconscious, or are unable to make decisions about emergency care. It has nothing to do with age; adults of all ages can benefit from having these wishes explained to them. While a living will may include a complete checklist on the types of treatments you would like to consider, it's difficult for a checklist to be complete or interpret the nuances. To that end, it's vital to have a durable power of attorney for health care. This legal document allows you to designate a health care proxy who is empowered to talk to your doctors, access your health care information, and make medical decisions about your care if you are unable to do so yourself.

A health care proxy is also responsible for determining which hospital, medical facility, nursing home, or palliative care facility you should send to for care. What legal documents should we have ready in order to prepare for an emergency such as the coronavirus pandemic? Learn more about a durable power of attorney (also known as financial power of attorney) and advance health directives (power of attorney, living will) from Bernard A.

Valerie Trible
Valerie Trible

Amateur music advocate. Hipster-friendly beer ninja. Subtly charming web specialist. Typical internet fanatic. Professional musicaholic. Wannabe bacon specialist.

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