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End of Life Decisions

by Bob Frie

Doctors resuscitating a senior patientConsiderations for All Advance Medical Directives

Your advance medical directive(s) should include statements about any religious beliefs that would either prohibit or require certain types of medical care, existing medical conditions that you want the medical professionals to know about in advance, which document shall control if there is more than one declaration and they conflict, and who decides whether or not you are unable to make medical decisions for yourself.

So long as your Living Will and other advance medical directives comply with the state law where the directive is executed, it will likely be recognized and honored in all other states. Nevertheless, if you spend a significant amount of time in more than one state, such as having a vacation or winter home in another state, you should execute documents in both states in case there are different requirements. It is very important to make sure all your declarations are consistent to avoid any confusion or disputes.

You should keep the original directives somewhere that is easily accessible and you should inform your loved ones where to find them. It is not a good idea to place the documents in a safe deposit box at a bank, as on weekends, holidays, and nights, the documents would not be available for use.

Communication is key. Many people prefer to keep their legal affairs private, but when it comes to end of life and medical treatment issues, communication with family members, close friends, doctors, and other medical professionals is the key to ensuring your wishes are followed. Take the time to discuss these issues with your family, close friends, and medical professionals.”

Thanks to the Colorado Bar Association for preparing this concise information.

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