Advance Directives are legal documents that protect you when you are unable to relay the information yourself. This may be due to accident, injury, or chronic health problems. Most often, they also survive incapacity. In other words, they offer you legal protection in the event you suffer from a disease like Alzheimer’s, dementia, or mental illness.

Advance Directive Documents including a Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney, and Healthcare Surrogate Designation (or Medical Power of Attorney). They nominate people of your choosing to speak for you if you cannot do so for yourself. These documents should be explained to you and drafted by an Elder Law or Estate Planning Attorney.

A Do Not Resuscitate Order, also called a DNR, is a healthcare document completed by you and given to your doctor. It conveys your wishes about whether or not heroic measures should be taken if your heart stops. Doctors and nurses will pull out all the stops for a patient if their heart stops. A DNR specifically tells your provider whether or not you want to be resuscitated in this situation.

While a DNR can be part of your Advance Directives, the two should not be confused. They are aimed to control very different situations. Having only one of these documents does not guarantee that your wishes are known and met. The best protection you can give yourself, and your future self is a well-drafted set of documents that specify who and what you want in each scenario.

We specialize in educating and helping you protect what you have for the people you love the most. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you and your family.


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