Sunday, April 22, 2007

What Is a Health Care Directive?

Its important for a couple after they get married to have a will, especially in the event a Premarital Agreement is executed and the couples are waiving their rights to any inheritance by virtue of a State's Intestacy Laws. When a will is executed, a person should also determine whether they want to execute a Health Care Directive.

A Health Care Directive, also known as a “living will”, usually covers specific directives as to the course of treatment that is to be taken by caregivers, or, in particular, in some cases forbidding treatment and sometimes also food and water, should you be unable to give informed consent due to incapacity. This is a legal document, which is signed, in the presence of a notary, and witnessed. It will be enforceable in the event you are unable to make decisions about your course of treatment due to incapacity.

A Health Care Surrogate is the person whom you name as the person who will carry out your health care wishes pursuant to your Health Care Directive. Additionally, this person will have the power to make health care decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated. A Health Care Surrogate will be designated in writing, and this document will be notarized and witnessed.

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