Medical Directives Are Part Of A Comprehensive Estate Plan

An advance health care directive, which is often called a "living will," is a legal document that specifies what medical actions should be taken on your behalf in the event you are unable to make those decisions yourself. With an advance health care directive, you identify an "agent" who will make health care decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated. By creating specific directions regarding what end-of-life measures you do or do not want taken, you avoid placing loved ones in the difficult position of making decisions for you.

At Mehalko and Moghul PLLC, we help our clients create advance medical directives as well as durable power of attorney. The latter allows a person to provide someone they trust the legal power to make financial decisions on their behalf if they are unable to do so on their own.

Selecting An Agent

Many individuals select a spouse, child or other family member to serve as their agent. This person must be at least 18 years old, and should be someone you trust. It is wise to discuss this role with the person you wish to serve as your agent before naming them. You should also have a candid discussion about your wishes regarding life-sustaining measures and end-of-life care.

You may designate different people to make health care and financial decisions. We recommend you select an alternate agent as well in case your primary agent is unavailable or unwilling to act on your behalf.

Updating Advance Medical Directives

As with any part of an existing estate plan, it is important to review your legal documents regularly to ensure they still reflect your wishes. Life circumstances change, and your estate plan may need to change to reflect those changes. If you created advance medical directives or a power of attorney for financial affairs several years ago, we can help you review those legal documents to make sure they still match your wishes.

With an office in McLean, Mehalko and Moghul PLLC serves clients throughout Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. To discuss your legal needs with an experienced estate planning lawyer, call 571-295-5702, or fill out our online contact form.