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Memphis Attorney Prepares Living Wills and Other Advance Directives

TN lawyer gives clients a voice on their medical care even if incapacitated

Life is unpredictable, but it is possible to prepare for the unexpected. Living wills and other types of advance directives can formalize your intentions regarding medical treatment and give someone you designate the legal authority to make important decisions if you are incapacitated. At Parham Estate Law with offices in Memphis and Jackson, I advise residents of Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas regarding the state laws and the various ways that properly crafted legal documents can help them maintain control over healthcare, financial matters and end-of-life measures. I have extensive experience helping people make their wishes clear and enforceable.

What is a living will, and how do I create one?

What people refer to as a living will is a separate type of legal document than a standard will, which distributes the property of someone who as died. A living will communicates your preferences in the event you have a terminal medical condition and cannot communicate. This document may include your preferences concerning life-prolonging medical care, such as artificial respiration, do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders and palliative measures to keep you comfortable. To be enforceable, the creator of a living will must have requisite mental capacity at the time the legal instrument is signed.

What can be covered in an advance directive?

Advance directives can set forth instructions on various matters, including:

  • Appointment of a healthcare agent — You can appoint a loved one as your healthcare agent, giving them legal authority to make medical decisions on your behalf. If your primary agent is unavailable, you might also opt to name a backup for this role.
  • Organ donation — Many people want to donate vital organs upon their death, but fail to record their intention legally. Should you wish to help someone else in this way, you can declare that in your advance directive.
  • Medical treatment choices — In your advance directive, you are able to name specific types of treatments that you would not want performed. Your agent or medical team can refer to this document if you are unable to express your wishes or give informed consent.

These crucial documents can save your family heartache during a crisis, and they can be as broad or specific as you wish. This way, your family can avoid the possibility of expensive litigation and move forward.

Legal counselor creates personalized power of attorney documents

Having someone to handle your personal affairs in the event of your absence or incapacity can help ensure that your property is cared for, and your bills are covered. You can grant someone power of attorney to manage the financial assets and act as your agent in legal matters. This might be useful if you have a temporary medical crisis or are leaving the country for a period of time. Older adults who are forgetful or susceptible to being taken advantage of can also benefit by giving a loved one control of legal and financial decisions. It is possible to create a power of attorney for a defined timeframe or to put one in place in the event that you become incapacitated sometime in the future.

It is prudent for small business owners and individuals involved in litigation to select a trusted representative to act in their place. In case you must step away from day-to-day business operations or participation in your lawsuit, you can transfer authority to someone who will have a fiduciary responsibility to look out for your best interests.

Contact a thorough Tennessee attorney to help you create an advance directive

A carefully drafted living will or power of attorney can give you and your loved ones greater peace of mind. Parham Estate Law serves clients throughout Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. Please call 901-602-3361 or contact me online to schedule a consultation at my Memphis or Jackson office.