This is a topic that would never be considered fun, but it is a necessary topic nonetheless. While none of us like to consider the idea that we might not be able to make our own medical decisions at some point, the possibility is always there.

During 2020, all of us have heard stories about people, sometimes our own loved ones, who were healthy one day and, on a ventilator, the next day. Covid-19 has given us pause to consider our choices and our lifestyles. That same virus has also made us think about getting our affairs in order.

While a last will and testament is an especially important document to have, a medical power of attorney is equally as important. A medical power of attorney gives your appointed agent the right to make health care decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated and can no longer make decisions for yourself.

A person can become incapacitated in a number of ways: car accident, extreme sickness or disease, stroke, and dementia are just a few ways that a person becomes incapable of making important decisions for themselves. The incapacitation can be temporary or permanent.

Having this document completed for yourself and your family members epitomizes being prepared for almost anything.  While estate planning gets us prepared for the inevitable, planning for possible incapacity is planning for a possibility. You may have strong views on your own medical treatment and what you will and will not allow. Having this document in place ensures that your wishes will be carried out by your designated agent.

So, what’s the difference between a living will and a medical power of attorney?

A living will addresses only end-of-life decisions.  Living wills account for whether or not a person wants to be resuscitated, whether or not a person wants to be kept on life support, and whether or not a person wants to die naturally.

It is important to have both documents in place so that your wishes are carried out in the manner you prefer.

Should you decide you’d like to have the documents drawn up for yourself and your family, call our office to set up an appointment. We are taking in person meetings, at a safe distance, and we can do virtual meetings as well.

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A GUIDE TO LOUISIANA SUCCESSIONS AND MISSISSIPPI PROBATE

This guide is intended to answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Louisiana successions and Mississippi probate.

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