“The Legal Corner”
By Sam A. Moak
MAKE SURE YOU TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR
The information in this column is not intended as legal advice but to provide a general understanding of the law. Any readers with a legal problem, including those whose questions are addressed here, should consult an attorney for advice on their particular circumstance.
As hot as it is this summer, and its only June, this maybe a good time to reorganize the closets, clean out those old files in the cabinet, and get rid of all those boxes in the garage. Call it “Extended Spring Cleaning” if you will. Anytime someone “Spring Cleans” seems to be a good time to take stock and start fresh…at least in the home. But what about with your health?
I am not talking about the diet you vowed to follow in your New Year’s Resolution, or trying to look good in that new bathing suit this summer. What I am talking about is your annual checkup—taking stock of your health with your primary care physician and making sure you are both on the same page with your instructions for health care and your advanced healthcare directive or living will.
When clients come into our office for an estate plan, we ensure that their healthcare instructions are completed as well. But the job doesn’t end when the document is signed. We tell our clients their health care providers need to be aware of their wishes as well. The best way to ensure that they know and understand your wishes is to take a copy of your advanced healthcare directive or living will with you to your next check up and talk to your physician about it, then ask them to keep the copy on file.
A rule of thumb with healthcare wishes is to give a copy of your Medical Power of Attorney and your Directive to Physicians and Family to each of your primary care physicians, give copies to each of the healthcare agents you’ve nominated, AND keep a copy or two on file to take with you if you ever need to go to the hospital. Of course, keep the signed original in a safe place with the rest of your estate planning documents.
If you have a question regarding Elder Law, Estate Planning, Living Trusts or Probate in the Huntsville area, please contact us at 936-295-6394 or visit our website. Call today and we will connect you with an experienced Elder Law and Probate Attorney. We can schedule you a face to face appointment to discuss your circumstances. If you have questions or are considering any aspect of your estate plan, probate, or your health care directives, etc. we can help! We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you with any and all elder law and estate planning needs.