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Advance Directives Attorney Serving Sumner, Washington

Understandably, making end-of-life decisions can be a painful and difficult process, whether you are 30 or 90 years old. However, the truth is that every adult should have an advance directive. This document can specify what kind of medical care you want or do not want in various situations.  

You never know when you may be injured in a car accident, develop an unexpected illness, or experience another kind of medical emergency, so it is better to be prepared ahead of time. The estate planning attorney at Terry Law Firm, P.S. can help you convey your wishes by using an advance directive. With an office in Sumner, Washington, Attorney Scott Terry offers knowledgeable and compassionate legal representation to clients throughout the state, including those in Pierce, King, and Thurston counties.

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What Is an Advance Directive (Living Will)?  

An advance directive is a document that contains an individual’s instructions about their future medical care in the event of a medical emergency that prevents them from expressing their wishes.  

Preparing an advance directive is important to make sure that your wishes and preferences are honored even if you are not able to communicate them. The document provides healthcare professionals with clear guidance regarding your care.  

Advance directives can be broken down into two documents:  

  1. A durable power of attorney for healthcare that names an “agent” who would make medical decisions on your behalf when you do not have the capacity to do so on your own 

  1. A living will (a healthcare directive) that details your preferences regarding medical care, including end-of-life medical treatment 

Thus, an advance directive allows you to (a) put your medical wishes in writing and (b) choose a person you trust to make medical decisions for you. Preparing an advance directive can be a precious gift to your loved ones because the document will give them confidence knowing that they are making decisions based on your wishes. Contact an experienced advance directives attorney in Sumner, Washington, to create an advance directive.  

Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Directive  

When people research advance directives, they often stumble across Do Not Resuscitate orders, also known as DNR directives. The order is prepared and signed by a healthcare provider at the patient’s request. The directive indicates that no steps should be taken to restore a patient’s breathing or restart their heart in the event of respiratory or cardiac arrest. 

A DNR directive can be either a component of an advance directive or a standalone document that is valid and enforceable even if the patient has no advance directive.  

Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)   

POLST, which stands for Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment, is a medical order that states a patient’s wishes for medical care. It can be a valuable tool for those who already have an advance directive because it allows the patient to summarize their wishes regarding life-sustaining treatment that were detailed in the living will (healthcare directive) and durable power of attorney.  

Making Modifications to Your Advance Directive  

Many people refuse to create an advance directive because they think there is no way you can modify an advance directive once you have it. It is a common misconception. In reality, you can make modifications to your advance directive whenever you need or want to. If you need to make changes to your advance directive, you need to create a new document, destroy copies of the old version, and distribute copies of the new document to those who had copies of the previous document.  

Generally, it is advisable to review your advance directive periodically to make sure that your wishes and preferences have not changed. Consult with a skilled attorney to discuss how to make modifications to your advance directive.  

Advance Directives Attorney Serving Sumner, Washington   

Having an advance directive can offer you peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be honored if something happens to you. An advance directives attorney in Sumner, Washington, can guide you in making important decisions for your future. Attorney Scott Terry provides compassionate legal service to clients throughout Washington, including Puyallup, Orting, Kent, Auburn, Lake Tapps, and Bonney Lake. Contact Terry Law Firm, P.S. to schedule a free, 30-minute consultation.