Advance directives or Living Wills are special legal documents someone uses to state his or her wishes involving medical care. These documents can provide a written plan for your medical care if you can no longer make these decisions for yourself. These plans can include a Do Not Resuscitate Order, a medical power of attorney, and other written authorizations.
Advance directives are different from other forms of financial documents such as powers of attorney, Last Wills, or trusts that will identify someone to manage your estate or allocate transferring your assets after death. An advance directive is legal if you sign it and have the signatures of two other witnesses. You do not need an attorney to draft an advance directive for you, but it’s helpful to contact an estate planning attorney if you are unclear about the components of your advance directive.
How Can I Draft My Advance Directive?
First, you will need to name a medical durable power of attorney. This will be the person who will speak on your behalf about your medical care if you cannot speak yourself. This person should be someone who understands your values and can be easily contacted. This is often a family member; however, in certain circumstances someone not so emotionally involved who would be certain to follow your directions would be a better choice.
You should also include, in your advance directive, your preferences for resuscitation. This can also be known as your “code status.” If you don’t specify, doctors will try to restart your heart by using CPR, electric shocks, medications, or life support breathing tubes by default. It’s important to state clearly your preferences.
If you are interested in drafting an advance directive in Colorado, you should contact one of our estate planning attorneys to ensure that you have included all of the details that you need. Call Wiegand Attorneys & Counselors, LLC for more information.