If you are like most Texas residents, you do not spend a great deal of time thinking about death and dying. Unfortunately, this may result in you and your family being unprepared if serious medical issues occur unexpectedly. At The Law Offices of Steven M.Williams, we often represent clients with a wide range of estate planning needs, including advanced health care directives.

According to WebMD, advance directives make clear your wishes if you become unexpectedly incapacitated. If you have a life-threatening illness, it is essential that should the time come when you cannot express your wishes, they are made clear, in writing. There are two primary types of advance directives.

A power of attorney names a person you trust as your agent. This can be a general empowerment, or you may assign an individual to speak on your behalf regarding medical issues and someone else for financial decisions. A living will details your preferences regarding a range of life-sustaining treatments. This can include experimental and extraordinary measures.

When choosing a medical power of attorney, it should be someone not intimidated by medical professionals and who understands your wishes regarding medical options and end-of-life care. There are some important decisions for you to consider when drafting the document. Do you want life support removed if you are brain dead? If you require mechanical respiration, antibiotics or other life-sustaining methods, how long should they continue if your condition does not improve? Are you an organ donor? Do you prefer your body be cremated, buried or donated for medical research?

Although you cannot plan for every possible option, the more you discuss the situation with your medical power of attorney, the better they understand your desires regarding your medical care. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.