At Vacek & Thain, PLLC, we believe that no estate plan is complete without preparing these essential medical care documents. Your estate is more than your money. With the correct medical care documents, your family will be able to properly and efficiently care for you and look after your best interests. Below is a description of the commonly prepared medical care documents we can provide as we aid you in planning your estate.
What is a Living Will? A Living Will (also known as the “Physicians’ Directive”) is a legal document that spells out the types of medical treatments and life-sustaining measures you do and don’t want, such as mechanical breathing (respiration and ventilation), tube feeding and resuscitation.
Do I need a Living Will? If you know that you would not want extra-ordinary measures taken to sustain your life, if such measures will only serve to delay the moment of your death, it is a good idea to execute a Living Will.
What is a Medical Power of Attorney for Health Care? A Medical Power of Attorney for Health Care is a legal document that names a person to act as your agent and who will have the authority to make health care related decisions for you if you are unable to communicate your health care wishes.
This document is typically designed to take effect only upon your becoming incapacitated. Incapacity is determined when a medical physician confirms in writing that you are unable to manage your financial affairs.
What is the difference between a Living Will and a Medical Power of Attorney? If you ever have a terminal and irreversible medical condition, your Living Will (Physicians’ Directive) serves to inform medical personnel that you do not want extra-ordinary measures taken to sustain your life if such extra-ordinary measures will only serve to delay the moment of your death. Through a Medical Power of Attorney, you appoint another person to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to communicate your decisions regarding treatment options. Each of these documents serves a different purpose. In some cases, these two documents together are referred to as an Advanced Directive.
What is HIPAA? HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, restricts your health care professionals from disclosing any of your confidential health related information to third parties, including your own family! If your health care professionals are unable to communicate with your family, with your trustees, and with your designated health care agents under your Medical Power of Attorney for Health Care, then your entire estate plan could be essentially undermined.
How Can my Family get Around HIPAA Restrictions? At Vacek & Thain, PLLC, we can draft what is known as a Universal HIPAA Authorization which will permit your health care professionals to disclose your confidential health care information to any person you have designated in that document. This document is an essential tool in maintaining communication between your doctors and your loved ones, including your designated agent under your Medical Power of Attorney for Health Care. Please talk to us about drafting a Universal HIPAA Authorization for you.
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Vacek & Thain, PLLC serves Texas families with their estate planning, estate tax planning, charitable planning, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, Heritage trusts, wills, power of attorney, family limited partnerships, advanced asset protection planning, declaration of guardian for minor children, healthcare documents, will based estate planning and the hazards of will planning, special needs estate planning, estate administration and trust administration. Contact Vacek & Thain, PLLC if you or your loved ones reside in the Houston, Texas area, including: Katy, Cinco Ranch, Mission Bend, Pecan Grove, Richmond, Rosenberg, Greatwood, Sugar Land, Meadows Place, Bellaire, Fresno, Pearland, South Houston, Spring Valley Village, Pasadena, Clear Lake, Friendswood, and more!
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