An advance health care directive is a powerful document that gives you the opportunity to do a number of important things. It allows you to express your wishes for health care treatment and after-death arrangements as well as name someone as your agent. It is your agent’s job to carry out the wishes you have expressed. You can read an overview of advance health care directives in this article on our website.
Our advance health care directive also includes many additional options, such as:
- Whether and how your religious beliefs should be weighed in decision making;
- Whether there is anyone who should not be allowed to make decisions for you;
- Whether you want to name your agent as your personal representative for purposes of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act;
- Whether your agent can assist with Medicare, Medicaid/MaineCare, and other insurance program issues;
- Any requests about your care and comfort that your loved ones should know;
- Whether you would want your directive to still be effective if you were pregnant; and
- Whether you would want to designate your agent as your guardian should you ever need one.
We recently added an option regarding drivers’ licenses to our advance health care directive. You can now include a provision that guides your agent on how to work with you, your doctor, and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles if there comes a time when your agent believes you can no longer drive safely. The specific language can be viewed on our advance health care directive worksheet. Including this language empowers your agent to act for your safety and the safety of others while also respecting your dignity and complying with your wishes. As with most aspects of our estate planning documents, if you decide to include instructions on this issue, but the language on our worksheet does not fully reflect your wishes, we can revise the language to best express your thoughts.