Advance Directives

Advance Directives

Tristate Advance Directives Attorney

A Tristate Advance Directives Attorney for Planning for Your Incapacity in WV, KY, and OH

Take control over your future by memorializing the medical treatment you would wish to receive and make sure that your financial affairs are in order in the event you are incapacitated. Don’t leave family members and caregivers to wonder what you would want. Make a difficult time easier on your loved ones by taking some simple planning steps. A tristate advance directives attorney can explain your options and put them into legal form. 

Living Wills: The Treatments You Want and the Life You Want

Laws covering advance directives and powers of attorney vary from state to state. Two types of advance directives in WV are a living will and a medical power of attorney. These two documents have different purposes and requirements. 

A living will specifies what medical treatments you want to receive if you are unable to communicate your wishes yourself and you have a terminal illness or are in a persistent vegetative state (unconscious, unaware of your environment, unable to interact with others). You may wish to avoid prolonging life in this condition with medical interventions such as tube feedings, breathing machines and ventilators, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and/or dialysis. You may wish to specify that you do not wish to be treated for infections, pneumonia, heart attack, stroke, or other specific conditions.

While there are do-it-yourself forms for living wills all over the Internet, a tristate advance directives attorney can explain your options and ensure that the legal requirements for a living will in your state are met. For example, there are six classes of persons who may not serve as a witness to a living will in West Virginia, including any relatives by blood or marriage or a treating physician. Ohio (OH) also restricts who may be a witness to a living will, and the Kentucky Living Will Directive Act of 1994 dictates the execution and scope of living wills in the Bluegrass State.

The Purpose of a Medical Power of Attorney

One option in planning for your incapacity in WV, KY, or OH, is having a medical power of attorney. A medical power of attorney (WV), health care surrogate designation (KY), or durable power of attorney for health care (OH) differs from a living will because it designates a particular person to act on your behalf if you are unable to communicate your medical treatment wishes. That person will be able to review your medical records and communicate with your treating physicians and decide exactly what treatments should and should not be given. This includes medical or surgical treatment, hospitalization, medication, nursing care, nursing home care and treatment, and home health care. 

Because of the power given to a representative by the medical power of attorney, you should be sure that this person understands your wishes and concerns regarding medical treatment in detail. A tristate advance directives attorney or an elder law attorney in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio can help you decide whether you need a medical power of attorney, choose an appropriate representative, and prepare information for that individual to help him or her with difficult decisions.

The Power of Attorney in WV, KY, and OH

Another advance directive option is executing power of attorney in West Virginia, Kentucky, or Ohio. A power of attorney is a legal document giving one person (the attorney-in-fact or agent) the power to act on behalf of the principal for a specific purpose or for all purposes. An attorney-in-fact is different from an attorney at law and does not need a law degree. In the event you become incapacitated, the agent could be empowered to sign checks for you, make deposits, pay bills, and enter into contracts and even, in some states, real estate transactions. 

The advantage of a power of attorney is that your financial affairs are taken care of by a person you have named and that you trust. This can put to rest any family arguments over what actions should or should not be taken and by whom. You can revoke a power of attorney at any time prior to becoming incapacitated in some way. Note that in Ohio, if your power of attorney has been recorded, any revocation must also be recorded. As with living wills, there are many websites offering “free” power of attorney forms. There are drawbacks to using these one-size-fits-all forms, such as privacy concerns from sharing your personal information with a third party online.

Finding the Right Tristate Advance Directives Attorney

With careful planning and the assistance of a tristate advance directive attorney, you can make sure your affairs will be managed even if you are incapacitated and unable to do so. Maintain control over important medical and financial decisions in the event of your incapacity by executing the appropriate advance directive documents for your situation. For assistance in planning for the worst in WV, KY, and OH, call a tristate advance directives attorney at Jenkins Fenstermaker PLLC at (304) 521-4571 or toll-free at (866) 617-4736, or use the contact form at the Jenkins Fenstermaker website.