Advance Directives in the Age of Covid-19
We have found ourselves in the midst of extraordinary times. As an Oklahoma City estate planning attorney, it’s important to be prepared for the possibility of serious illness that can result in incapacitation or death, regardless of whether it is Covid-19 or not. This is an opportunity to bring up a difficult but critical topic with loved ones — Advance Directives.
An Advance Directive is a written statement that clarifies the type of medical treatment that you would want to receive if you are unable to voice those choices yourself. You also want to designate an individual, known as your healthcare agent or proxy, to make sure that your wishes are honored should you no longer be able to speak for yourself. This includes, among other things, making decisions about when to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment.
An advance directive should address these questions:
- Do you want to receive artificially provided nutrition or hydration when you are close to death and/or permanently unconscious?
- Would you want to take advantage of all life-support technologies if it would only postpone death?
- Would you want to use them if you were permanently unconscious?
- Would you want them if you were going through an advanced progressive illness?
- What does a good death mean and look like to you?
- At what point do you want to prolong your life and at what point do you want to preserve resources for other people?
- What you want to have happen to your body when you die – and plans for any memorial service(s)?
Do not forget to include names and signatures of individuals who witness your signing your advance directive if required.
Plan to revisit your directive every 5 years to update it as needed. Give copies of it to loved ones and to your healthcare proxy.
These are only a few of the many issues that can be discussed in an advance directive. To get a full understanding of an advance directive, call the office and schedule a time to meet with Kevin Miller, 405-443-5100.