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Planning for future medical needs is good for you and your family

It can be difficult to think about the future and what kind of health care you may need in the years ahead, but it can also be a beneficial step to have certain protections in place for both you and your Pennsylvania family. You can do this by drafting a living will and having a health care power of attorney.

With these tools, you can outline your wishes for care and medical treatment if incapacitated in the future. This effort can provide you peace of mind and protect your loved ones from complicated and difficult decisions about your care during difficult times.

Are you fully protected?

There are a few ways to protect your interests regarding medical care and interventions. Through advanced directives and a living will, you can outline your wishes for end-of-life care, emergency care and more. The differences between these two documents are as follows:

  • Living will: This tool allows you to outline your wishes regarding health care in case you are ever incapacitated due to illness or injury. You can specify what you want regarding treatment, which may include:
    • Tube feeding
    • Resuscitation
    • Dialysis
    • Antibiotics
    • Organ donation
    • Palliative care
    • Mechanical ventilation
  • Health care power of attorney: This is a type of advanced directive that allows you to name a person to act on your behalf and make decisions for you in case of incapacitation. This can be a spouse, family member or trusted member of a faith community. Whoever you choose must meet the following requirements:
    • Must meet state requirements
    • Cannot be your doctor
    • Is trusted to act as your advocate
    • Be willing to discuss medical or end-of-life issues

By making the effort to have these things in place, you can be confident that you will receive health care and treatment that matches your beliefs and wishes.

An estate plan that meets your needs

If you do not have an estate plan in place, you would be wise to take the necessary steps to ensure that your loved ones are properly cared for in the event of your incapacitation or death. You can tailor your plan to suit your needs and ensure that you have the necessary protections in place.

If you have an existing will, yet you need to add a health care power of attorney or living will, you will find great benefit in working with an experienced attorney to ensure that you are fully protected.

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