Advance Health Care Directives

Advance Health Care Directives

As part of an estate planning package, most attorneys prepare advance health care directives or Living Wills along with a Last Will and Testament or Revocable Trust. An advance directive is a document in which you give directions for your health care at some time in the future when you may be unable to make health care decisions or speak for yourself.

In Tennessee, the two most commonly used advance health care directives are the Living Will and the Advance Care Plan. Both documents are valid under state law. The Tennessee Living Will was developed in 1985. The Tennessee Advance Care Plan was developed in 2004. The Advance Care Plan can be found on the Tennessee Health Department website at http://health.state.tn.us/AdvanceDirectives/Advance_Care_Plan.pdf.  [Read more…]

Wake-up Call

Last week, in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, I rushed my husband to the emergency room with chest pain. It was a heart attack. He was treated promptly and successfully and is now home recovering.

In the emergency room, they asked if he had a power of attorney for health care or Living Will. The unsigned forms were in my computer. I had prepared the documents months ago, but was always too busy with other people’s work to print them out for him to sign. Fortunately, my husband was conscious and able to consent to treatment himself.  [Read more…]