What are Advance Directives?June 29, 2021
When it comes to personal wishes and instructions for your care in the event of illness, there are many legal documents to be aware of. Among these legal documents, it is important to understand what advance directives are. Advance directives are legal documents that outline your wishes for medical or personal care if you become ill, injured, or cannot express your own wishes. It can be difficult to know what information should be included in an advance directive to ensure that your wishes are accurately represented. That is why the team at Sidhu & Associates has compiled some information on the importance of advance directives and how they are related to representation agreements.
See our form for advance directives and representation agreements.
Why are Advance Directives Important?
If you become ill or injured to the point that you cannot express your wishes for health care, this can lead to a stressful situation for your loved ones. An advance directive distinctly outlines your wishes for medical care while also including some information on your values and beliefs to add context. In an advance directive, you can choose to use or refuse life support in the event that you are deemed to be close to death. This eliminates the stress of having a loved one interpret what your wishes would be.
Advance Directives vs. Representation Agreements
Advance directives often do not include information on who is going to represent you, so they are often paired with representation agreements to elect someone you trust to act in your interests. A representation agreement can be defined as a legal document that is used to appoint an individual (or individuals) to make health and personal care decisions on your behalf if you have not stated any specific preferences or instructions. In plain terms, an advance directive outlines your wishes and preferences for health care while a representation agreement outlines the individual that you want to act on these wishes or make decisions on your behalf.
While it is possible to have one of these documents without the other, having an advance directive without a representation agreement carries many risks. One of these risks is that you would not have any power over who will speak on your behalf, leaving it up to interpretation and potentially causing conflict amongst your loved ones. Advance directives also do not cover specific medical scenarios or illnesses, meaning that your wishes may not apply to the situation. To avoid these risks, the team at Sidhu & Associates strongly recommends paring an advance directive with a representation agreement.
To learn more about advance directives and our Notary Services, get in touch with the team at Sidhu & Associates. We can be reached through our online contact form and are ready to answer any questions you may have.