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Create Legal Advance Directives To Help Carry Out Your Senior Care Medical and Financial Wishes

Peace of mind comes with making a plan, especially when it comes to expressing your wishes for your medical care, your finances and your desires for the end of your life and after you die. Legal advance directives are documents that give others the authority and directions to carry out your wishes when you are unable to or when it’s more convenient for someone you trust to do so for you. Fortunately, advance directives are easy to create and legally file. For senior care this is essential to have.

Four Essential Documents

Advance directives are legal tools that ensure a person’s wishes concerning their healthcare and finances are carried out should they become unable to express them. Everyone should have these documents on file no matter what their age. If you are helping your loved one create their advance directives, consider using this as an opportunity to write down your own desires and file your own advance directives. Documents you and your loved one should have include:

  • A Living Will

  • A Healthcare Power of Attorney

  • A Will

  • A Durable Power of Attorney.

Living Wills address end-of-life issues, such as requesting or withholding medical treatments.

A Healthcare Power of Attorney is broader and allows the person you appoint, who is also known as a proxy, to make medical decisions on your behalf f you are unable. For instance, if you are in a stable coma, your healthcare proxy could make decisions about your everyday care. Both the Living Will and the Healthcare Power of attorney are activated only when a physician declares the patient unable to give consent.

A Will deals with the division of property and assets after death.

The Durable Power of Attorney allows for the appointment of someone you choose to manage financial affairs should you become incapacitated. You decide on the scope of the Durable Power of Attorney and under what conditions it is activated. Durable Power of Attorney ends at death. The executor of a Will, who can be the same person who has Durable Power of Attorney, then takes charge of the estate and financial affairs.

Consider Professional Help

You don’t have to use an attorney to create advanced directives but you may feel more confident doing so.

North Carolina Living Will and Healthcare Power of Attorney instructions and forms are available here. This site also is home to the North Carolina Advance Health Care Directive Registry where you can file up to four different advance directive documents for easy access.