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Let your loved one's know what you want with advanced directives

While it is impossible to know what the future will bring, it is possible to do your best to plan and be legally prepared for all the "what ifs" that may come your way. This is something that can take time, but is achievable with the help of an experienced estate planning attorney.

A significant concern for numerous Oklahoma residents is what will happen to them if they become incapacitated in some way. If this happened to you, who would handle your affairs and make important medical decisions for you? Are there some treatments or care options that you are against and do not want to receive? You can spell out the answers to these questions and any other wishes you have for your care in legal forms known as advance directives.

An advance what?

An advance directive simply is a legal document in which you provide details regarding your wishes for medical care should you be become incapable of verbally or physically expressing them to your loved ones or medical staff.

Different forms of advance directives

Advance directives come in several forms. These include:

  • Health care power of attorney
  • Living wills
  • Mental health treatment declaration
  • Do not resuscitate papers

Each of these, and the many other types of advance directives, serve different purposes. An experienced attorney can help you determine which forms you need based on your wants and wishes for medical care and will assist you in preparing only those that are applicable to your situation.

Do I have to put this information in writing?

You have every right to just tell your loved ones what you want should something happen to you, but doing so does not guarantee that your wishes will be followed. Putting everything down in legal documents is the only way to ensure the honoring of your wishes, as medical providers have to follow the information provided in valid advance directives.

What do I do with advance directives after their completion?

If no one knows you have advance directives in place, they will not serve their purpose. After going through all the work to put your wants and wishes down on paper, give copies to those of whom you believe need to have them in their possession. These may be family members, medical providers, friends or anyone else you deem appropriate.

If you are on the fence about whether having advance directives is really necessary, you can get your questions answered so that you can make an informed decision. An experienced attorney can help you with this and the many other aspects of estate planning so that you have all the necessary and desired protections in place for if or when they are needed, and that any legal documents that are prepared meet the requirements set by the state of Oklahoma.

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