Many people think that they can simply download advanced medical directive documents and fill them out. However, before you purchase that form for a Living Will and that form for a Healthcare Power of Attorney, there are a few things to consider and reasons that you should speak to an experienced estate planning attorney.
The most important thing that you need to understand is what makes for a legally valid advanced medical directive in your state. Not all states have the same laws and you cannot rely on an out-of-state company to know the latest rules in your state. If the law changes, the form that you purchase might be out of date.
You also need to make sure that a Living Will and a Healthcare Power of Attorney are not in conflict. You need to make sure that your Living Will takes priority over the directives of the Healthcare Power of Attorney, or vice versa, if there is a conflict between the two. If you have not provided for that, then which document takes priority might end up as an issue for a court to decide.
Downloadable forms for your advanced medical directives may seem like a convenient option. However, they can cause more problems than they are worth. An estate planning attorney, while more expensive, is well worth the price.
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