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Health Care Directives

Elsewhere, this website has featured articles on Wills and Powers of Attorney. A Will is a written document which sets out the method of distribution of the assets of the deceased. A Power of Attorney is a written document wherein the individual, called the donor, appoints an attorney or attorneys to carry on the donor’s day to day affairs during the lifetime of the donor either because the donor lacks the capacity to carry on these affairs or simply desires that the attorneys take over his affairs, often for the sake of convenience.

A Health Care Directive, sometimes called a Living Will, is a written instrument also available for an individual to utilize for what is sometimes called disaster planning purposes. The person completing a Health Care Directive designates another, called a Health Care Proxy, to make decisions relating to medical treatment. The person designated has the power to make medical decisions in the event that you lack the ability to make these decisions yourself. The individual completing the Health Care Directive may place no restrictions on the availability of the health care proxy to make these medical decisions or, in the alternative, the person making the appointment may deal with quite specific treatment and instructions.

The Health Care Directive must be signed and dated by the person giving it. No witness is required. The next time you make arrangements to meet with your lawyer to review your Will or to complete a Power of Attorney on your behalf, you may also wish to discuss Health Care Directives.

Notice: The articles on our website are provided for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice or opinion. They reflect the current state of the law as at the date of posting on the website, and are subject to change without notice. If you require legal advice or opinion, we would be pleased to provide you with our assistance on any of the issues raised in these articles.