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Advance Healthcare Directives in Houston


Secure your wishes with Houston’s Advance Healthcare Directives!

Are you ready to ensure your healthcare wishes are followed if you can’t express them? Advance Healthcare Directives make your care preferences clear. They cover choices from aggressive treatments to gentle care approaches whether it involves lifesaving interventions or more subdued forms of care. 

Yet, creating directives can be tricky. It often involves complex laws and healthcare regulations. A task that can be overwhelming for many. This is where the indispensable guidance of an experienced attorney becomes crucial. They can help articulate your wishes accurately within your Advance Healthcare Directives, safeguarding your choices and providing you and your loved ones with invaluable peace of mind.

Quick Summary:

  • Understanding Advance Healthcare Directives. Advance Healthcare Directives are legal tools that specify your healthcare preferences if you cannot communicate. These are vital in critical health situations to honor your care choices.
  • Importance Across All Ages. It’s a common misconception that only the elderly or chronically ill need advance directives. In reality, anyone at any age can face sudden health crises where such directives are crucial.
  • Types of Healthcare Directives. Several forms exist, including the Declaration for Mental Health Treatment, Medical Power of Attorney, and Out of Hospital Do Not Resuscitate Orders, each serving different purposes and offering specific types of control over healthcare decisions.
  • Legal and Practical Guidance. Formulating an advance directive involves understanding complex healthcare laws and requires precise documentation. Legal help can ensure directives clearly reflect your wishes, providing peace of mind for you and your family.
  • Regular Updates Recommended. Advance directives should be reviewed regularly or after major life changes to ensure they accurately reflect your current healthcare wishes.
  • Documentation and Sharing. Once signed (and optionally notarized), these directives should be shared with your healthcare provider. And any appointed health proxies to ensure they are readily available in emergencies.

What Are Advance Healthcare Directives?

Advance directives are crucial legal documents. They outline your medical care preferences if you can’t communicate your wishes. These documents are used in critical situations to ensure your healthcare choices are known and respected. It’s essential to view your advance directives as “living documents.” They should be reviewed annually or after significant life events, such as :

  • retirement,
  • relocation, or
  • notable health changes,

To ensure they accurately reflect your current wishes and circumstances.

Who Needs an Advance Care Plan?

Contrary to common belief, advance care planning isn’t solely for the elderly or those with chronic illnesses. Anyone, regardless of age, could face a situation where they cannot voice their medical care decisions. By preparing in advance, you ensure that your healthcare preferences are known and that decisions about your care are made by someone you trust, aligning with your wishes and values.

What Are the Different Types of Healthcare Directives?

Here are some of the healthcare directives available in Houston:

  • Declaration for Mental Health Care (DMHT) – This enables you to choose care for your mental health. The directions in this statement will only be implemented if a court determines that you can’t make medical choices. Otherwise, you will be regarded competent to provide or withdraw consent for the procedures.
  • Statutory Durable Power of Attorney (SDPOA) – This document allows you to choose a trustee who can do specific acts with your belongings. It prohibits anybody from making medical reasons or other health-related choices on your behalf.
  • Medical Power of Attorney Designation of Health Care Agent (MPOA) —this grants the person you say as your appointed representative permission to make all health-related choices for you per your plan, as well as including your spiritual and ethical principles when you’re no longer able to make decisions.
  • Out of Hospital Do Not Resuscitate (OOH-DNR) Order – This tells emergency workers and other medical providers to stop the revival. Other emergency treatment, including comfort services, is unaffected by this directive.

What Factors Should I Address First When Developing An Advanced Health Care Directive?

Before advance care planning, there are various factors to take into account. We’ve put up the advice that follows to help you create your plan:

  • Verify the state laws on advance directives and powers of attorney for healthcare.
  • Think about the following medical problems while creating your plan:
  • A “do not resuscitate” (DNR) order enables you to resist attempts to restart the rhythm of your heart.
  • You have the option to seek or decline pain relief measures as well as any particular medical procedures under your plan.
  • Organ transplant enables you to give individual organs or your complete body.
  • Communicate your desires in writing, being as clear as possible.
  • Date and sign your advance directive, then get it notarized if required.
  • Bring an I.D. in your wallet that says you have an advance directive and a place to locate it.

You should tell someone after you’ve made, signed, and notarized your advance care plan. We recommend what follows.

  • Communicate your advance directive with family and friends. Distribute a copy to anybody who can help in an emergency.
  • Please submit a copy to your healthcare professional for your medical records.
  • If you use a durable power of attorney for health care, provide a copy to your proxies.

A Houston lawyer can help you with advanced healthcare directives in Texas so that you can protect yourself and your family. Call Chargios Harper for your consultation.

How Do I Create an Advanced Healthcare Directive?

Your advanced healthcare plan should state what treatment you want. You offer details about your surrogate decision-maker. Make sure that you both sign the living will or advance healthcare directive. Keep a copy of your records in a secure location and give them to the doctor, family, and healthcare provider.

Should I Have An Advance Care Directive?

An advance care directive is a powerful tool to protect oneself so that someone you don’t know or trust can’t make decisions for you. It provides instructions to medical providers if you become incapacitated. Also, it gives your family a clear plan and instructions for your wants if something occurs. 

Who Makes Choices If You Don’t Have An Advance Directive?

If you need life-preserving medical care and don’t have a legal advance directive, state law allows several parties to make healthcare choices on your behalf. The following persons, in order of importance, have the authority to make choices for you:

  • Your spouse.
  • Your adult child (or the bulk of your adult children who are easily accessible at the time);
  • Your parents:
  • Someone you designated to make decisions on your behalf before becoming disabled;
  • The nearest living family member.

While this guarantees somebody can make critical decisions on your behalf, it can also lead to family disagreements. To cut the likelihood of disagreement and ease the pain on your family members in this difficult period, it is essential to have an advance directive that states your objectives.

Call Our Advanced Healthcare Directives Attorney Now!

Regardless of age or health, it’s never too early to start planning for the future. Advance directives protect you in the unlikely scenario that you are wounded, in a coma, or dying. Advance care planning is not only for the elderly; end-of-life scenarios can occur at any stage of life. Advance planning papers demand careful thought. We’ve helped many people through the estate planning process, including difficult decisions about their health and finances. 

From beginning to end, Chargois Harper serves as a valuable resource and collaborator. Whether you are coping with an illness or want to understand your options better, advance care directives are necessary. We will discuss wills, powers of attorney, trusts, and other essential legal papers that might benefit you and your family. Our advance care directives lawyers at Chargois Harper will be your legal advisers.

With over 30 years of knowledge, Chargois Harper offers probate, estate planning, family law, and real estate legal services in Texas and Illinois. Our staff considers your interests and creates efficient solutions to your legal challenges. Call us now!

Frequently Asked Questions about Advance Directives

Who is eligible to create an advance directive?

Adults who have reached the age of majority. Generally 18 or older, who can think clearly and make decisions independently can establish an advance directive.

What are the requirements for witnesses on my advance directive?

Your advance directive must be signed by two mentally competent adults. These witnesses cannot be your healthcare provider, a member of your healthcare team, a resident in the same facility, someone who stands to inherit from you, or anyone related by blood or marriage. An option for one of the witnesses could be someone without a stake in your health care, such as a security guard or clergy member.

Is notarization needed for my advance directive to be valid?

Notarization is not a requirement for advance directives to be legally recognized, as two adult witnesses can give validity to your signature. However, specific documents like the Texas Out-Of-Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate Order could be notarized instead, though it is not obligatory.

What should I do with my advance directive after it’s created?

Once you finish your advance directive, share a copy with your medical provider to include in your health records and keep the original safe. It’s advisable to provide a copy to any trusted individual who may need to make health decisions for you if you cannot. If you’ve designated a health care proxy or granted a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, ensure this person also has a copy.

When does the advance directive become effective?

Your advance directive becomes active when you’re unable to make health care decisions yourself. This could be due to a permanent unconscious state, non-reversible brain injury, or a terminal diagnosis with no hope for recovery, all of which must be medically confirmed.

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