I had a urgent conversation today with a friend who is trying to help a loved one complete their healthcare directive. Her loved one has been diagnosed with long COVID. They are working to get this document completed before taking him to the hospital. The document needed to be completed while he could still speak for himself.
Healthcare Directives assigns someone else to be able to speak on your behalf for healthcare decisions only. That person is called your Healthcare Agent or Personal Representative. This role differs from a Power of Attorney as they handle legal and financial matters; not healthcare decisions. A healthcare directive allows you to make your medical wishes known and can provide direction to healthcare providers on your end of life choices. It is not recommended to have your doctor or healthcare provider be your agent unless you have a specific medical need. All choices must be compliant with local and state laws. To activate your healthcare directive, it can be notarized by a notary public or two witnesses. Finally, it can be updated at any time.
If you want to know more about healthcare directives or other legal documents you need to consider, download your copy of my eBook, Last Life Lesson: A Guide for Seniors and Their Families from my website ourfamilyencounter.com.