Establishing an Advanced Health Care Directive in Delaware

An advanced health care directive, commonly known as a living will, is a common part of the estate planning work we do here at the firm. It has become a more requested service now in the age of COVID.

Why does an individual need an advanced care directive?

Any estate planning is guided by the idea that an individual has the prerogative to have his or her wishes respected in instances when they are not in a position to advocate for themselves. A will, the most common form of estate planning, assures an individual’s wishes will be respected after death. An advanced health care directive ensures that an individual’s medical care will be provided, or in some cases withheld, based on the wishes of the individual.

Modern medicine has the capacity to keep patients alive longer than ever before. There is no doubt that advances in medicine and healthcare have been a blessing for families in Delaware and across the world. That said, a living will provides you the mechanism to declare the extent and depth of care you desire should you ever be in a terminal, incapacitated or vegetative state. Through your advanced health care directive, your choices regarding provision or withholding of care will be shared with your doctor and care team.

Establishing a Directive Lessens the Potential for Conflict

In addition to establishing your wishes for care in a legal document, you also have the right to name an agent to make decisions on your behalf. Known as a Power of Attorney for Health Care, this person has authority to make decisions on your behalf regarding administration of care should you not be able to make decisions on your own. This person would also be consulted regarding end-of-life-care. Establishing a Power of Attorney for Health Care is helpful for a number of reasons. Though we may love all of our family and friends equally, we may not trust them to all to act on our behalf in situations such as these. Decisions regarding a family member’s care often require an individual to think critically and rationally with both their heart and mind. Naming one individual whom you most trust to act on your behalf offers peace of mind while eliminating the potential for infighting among loved ones and those close to you.

Helping You Navigate Life’s Tough Choices

In everything we do, we take special care to account for small details in order to ensure we are providing each client with the best counsel and representation. Estate planning can be heavy on detail and overwhelming for those declaring their wishes. Our role is not to make decisions for our clients, but rather to present options and offer appropriate guidance. If you think you might benefit from establishing a living will or any other form of estate planning, contact our offices today and let’s start the conversation about your wishes.