Long Island Medicaid Attorney | Lamkin Elder Law

Your guide to areas of elder law.

End-of-Life Options To Prepare Ahead

End-of-life decisions are not easy to make. A lot of people feel uncomfortable talking about it, and many avoid having to make such choices until a crucial event. However, considering how life is uncertain these days, one should begin consulting a Medicaid Attorney in order to get the best legal counsel for preparing end-of-life alternatives.

Elder Patient

The Right to Life and Death

Every person has the right to live and die in accordance to what he believes in. Unfortunately, if end-of-life decisions had not been discussed with loved ones or medical practitioners, the patient might receive treatment that goes against his principles. That’s why it’s highly important to leave behind a set of instructions so the people who care about you can be relieved from the stress and overwhelming responsibility of choosing for you.

What Kind of Documents Can Help

Aside from estate planning to secure your loved ones’ futures through wills and trusts, preparing for your medical needs as a senior is just as vital. An experienced Elder Law attorney can help you and your family when it comes to choosing the most suitable plan for your end-of-life decisions. It’s also good to involve your attending nurses and physicians so that they will know what sort of treatment you’d like to receive once the time has come.

  • Appointing a Healthcare Proxy through a Power of Attorney. This is one of the most common ways to convey your medical desires or end-of-life choices. Through a legal document, someone will act as your agent who has the power to make medical decisions for you, should you be incapacitated or unable to communicate. Rules on healthcare proxies may vary from state to state; and it is usually up to the patient if he wants the POA to be effective immediately, or only after his incapacitation.
  • Advanced Medical Directives. Along with getting someone to make end-of-life decisions for you, you should also have advanced directives drafted. These can accompany the POA or as a separate legal paper. These shall include all medical instructions from you as to what physicians and healthcare workers should do in case you’re in a coma or vegetative state. Nowadays, be sure to include specific names of family members who are entitled to medical information regarding your condition, because some states prohibit healthcare practitioners from disclosing some of these matters.
  • A more popular and direct method for making end-of-life choices is called POLST or Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment. This has been adopted in several states already for quite a while due to Advanced Directives being too broad or ambiguous. Generally, it is a medical order form indicating the kinds of life-sustaining treatments the patient wants or doesn’t want to have in case of incapacitation, coma, or worsening conditions. The physician or nurse is authorized to sign the document and added to the patient’s file; accessible anywhere should the patient need to be transferred to other locations.

If you haven’t discussed your end-of-life of life decisions with an elder care attorney, it’s time to make an appointment as soon as possible. Lamkinelderlaw.com offers free online consultation with years of experience handling difficult cases involving Medicaid and senior needs. Don’t delay when it comes to your health and how you should spend your twilight years – life is uncertain and it’s best enjoyed with a good plan in mind.

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This entry was posted on January 9, 2014 by in Medicaid.

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