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3 levels of advance medical decisions

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2024 | Estate Planning |

When creating an estate plan, one thing you may want to focus on is making advanced medical decisions. You know you could become incapacitated in the future, such as if you suffer from an unexpected heart attack. You can use your estate plan to make some medical choices in advance, just in case you can’t make them at that moment.

There are many different ways to do this. Below, we will take a look at three different options, which represent different levels of control over these medical decisions.

A DNR order

First, you could get a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order. This just means that, if your heart stops beating or you stop breathing, you do not want the medical team to use CPR to bring you back. This is one of the most basic decisions people make about their future care.

A living will

A living will is an advance directive that goes a step beyond a DNR order. It gives you the option to leave a list of instructions for your future medical team. This could include treatments or care that you approve of – or that you do not want to be used. This could go well beyond CPR.

A medical power of attorney

Finally, you may not want to make distinct choices at all, knowing that every medical situation is unique. You can still plan for the future by using a medical power of attorney. You then pick an agent to act on your behalf and make these decisions if you are incapacitated.

If you’re working on your estate plan, it’s important to carefully consider all of the options you have to make a comprehensive plan that focuses on your future.