Living wills and healthcare powers of attorney in Broadway North Carolina are the two basic legal documents that allow you to declare your wishes for medical treatment in the event you are no longer able to make your own choices. Living wills give directions as to whether you wish to receive any life-prolonging measures in certain circumstances. Healthcare powers of attorney in Broadway North Carolina allow you to appoint another person to have the authority to consent to or refuse any or all medical care, including mental health treatment, on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself.
This appointed person is called your health care agent, or sometimes referred to as attorney-in-fact for health care, health care proxy, or surrogate. You need to make sure that you discuss your wishes concerning mental health treatment, life-prolonging measures, and other health care decisions with your health care agent, since they are obligated to make doctors and other healthcare providers aware of your predetermined medical care wishes.
In order to have legal capacity to create a healthcare power of attorney, you must be an adult 18 years old or older and in sound mind. Sound mind means that you understand what the healthcare power of attorney document is, what it contains, what it means, and how it works.
Your living will and healthcare power of attorney will only take effect if a doctor determines that you lack “capacity” to make your own healthcare decisions. In order to lack legal mental capacity you must:
be unable understand the nature and consequences of the health care choices that are available to you, and
be unable to communicate your own wishes for health care, either verbally, in writing, or through gestures.
If you are interested in receiving legal help when creating your healthcare directive documents, you should contact a local estate planning attorney for more information.