Take Part in the Seventh Annual Virginia Healthcare Decisions Day

Virginia is putting the spotlight on an important aspect of estate planning – healthcare directives. The Seventh Annual Healthcare Decisions Day will take place on April 16th. For more info, check out the Virginia State Bar’s info page.

So what is this day all about? Well, a critically important estate planning document is an “Advance Directive.” This document allows you to put your wishes regarding medical care in writing and lets your loved ones know the types of medical care you do and do not want in car you are unable to express your wishes.

Generally, there are two types of Advance Directives you can utilize:

1. Advance Directive That Appoints an Agent

This type of Advance Directive enables you to authorize another person (e.g., a spouse, child, or friend) to be your “agent” or “proxy” to make critically important healthcare decisions for you if you become incapacitated. In addition, you can specifically tell your agent what kinds of care you do and do not want in particular circumstances. This type of authorization, in legal terms, is known as a “Power of Attorney for Healthcare.”

2. Healthcare Directive

Along with an Advance Directive, there is a Healthcare Directive. This document allows you to state what kinds of healthcare you want or do not want if you are determined to be unable to express your own wishes. This is routinely referred to as a “living will.”

So, mark your calendars for April 16. Take the time to sit down with an experienced estate planning attorney and get your Advance Directive in order.