Advance Directive Lawyer in Virginia

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning covers much more than just what happens to your property after you die. A thorough estate plan can help you make the most of your opportunities and protect your autonomy during your lifetime as well. One of the tools estate planners use to help with this is an advance health care directive.

With an advance directive, you can control your medical care decisions even if you are in a situation where you are incapacitated and unable to communicate with health care providers. Jennifer Porter Law, PLLC prepares custom-tailored advance directives for clients in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and DC. We take the time to explain your options and the potential effects of your choices so that you will receive the right care if and when the time comes.

Two Types of Protection

In DC, Maryland, and Virginia, an advance directive usually includes two components that protect you in different ways. One part is a durable medical power of attorney, sometimes called a healthcare proxy. This form allows you to designate an agent to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make or communicate your own decisions.

The second part is a directive often referred to as a living will. With this document, you can specify the types of care you would want in particular situations. Both documents can be created at any time while you retain legal capacity, and you can change or revoke them at any time while you remain competent. Having an advance directive in place is one way to avoid the need for costly guardianship proceedings in the future.

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care

When you create a power of attorney, you give someone authority to make decisions for you. A power of attorney can cover financial matters or health care issues.

Creating a medical or health care power of attorney allows someone you trust to authorize treatment if you are unconscious or otherwise unable to clearly communicate with doctors. Before designating someone as your agent, you should consider people who know you and who will make decisions that respect your wishes. Your agent doesn’t need to be an attorney or have any legal training. You should talk to the person you would like to serve as your agent to ensure that they are willing to take on the role and that they understand your wishes for medical treatment.

Living Will

The term living will can be misleading, because this document is nothing like a traditional will dealing with property after your death. Instead, it allows you to describe the type of care you want to receive at the end of your life.

If you are suffering from certain terminal conditions and you are unable to talk to doctors, your living will can instruct them on whether you want to receive certain forms of treatment, artificial feeding, and other measures. We customize this document to fit your specific preferences in different situations.

Let Jennifer Porter Law, PLLC Protect Your Future with the Right Advance Directive Documents

While no one enjoys contemplating a future where they are in a physical or mental state of incapacity, we know that it happens to almost everyone at some point in time. With an advance directive prepared, doctors can provide the treatment you want without delays, and they will not take measures that you want to avoid.

At Jennifer Porter Law, PLLC, our team will work to educate you about your choices and develop documents that are designed to fit your specific desires. Let us help keep you in control of your future. Contact us today for a confidential consultation to learn more.


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