Make Your Wishes Known: Health Care And Finance

No one likes to think about a situation in which they cannot speak for themselves, but the truth is that it happens. Whether because of an illness or an injury, it is sometimes impossible to consult a person on what should happen regarding his or her health care or finances. To prepare for this possibility, Wootton & Wootton, P.C., can help you create documents to provide direction. North Carolina recognizes living wills, health care powers of attorney and other legal instruments that allow you to record your wishes in advance and name people who can make decisions on your behalf.

Living Wills: Choose The Health Care You Want (And Don't Want)

If you cannot weigh in on a particular life-saving health care measure, a living will records your choices in advance. For instance, you may decide to have treatment that decreases your pain but does not include extraordinary attempts to save your life if you have no hope for recovery. In different scenarios, you can elect to have or abstain from a variety of treatments, including:

  • Indefinite life support
  • A feeding tube
  • Resuscitation attempts

Our attorneys will work with you to build a personalized health care plan and health care directives that reflect your values and priorities. A living will is in effect only during your lifetime.

Power Of Attorney: Who Can Make Decisions For You?

A living will is typically paired with power of attorney documents. A power of attorney grants someone the ability to make decisions on your behalf. There are two main types — health care power of attorney and financial power of attorney — and we recommend having both. All powers of attorney apply only during your lifetime.

If you ever cannot speak on your own behalf, you need to designate people who can speak for you.

  • Health Care Power Of Attorney
    This allows someone to make medical decisions on your behalf. This is often in conjunction with the wishes you specify in a living will. When choosing this person, select someone you trust who would be able to travel to your bedside if needed.
  • Financial Power Of Attorney
    This is often referred to as simply "power of attorney." This grants someone the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf. This authority can be narrow or expansive, depending on what you want.

Get Peace Of Mind

Whatever your goals and priorities, you will feel better having recorded them in legal documents. If you have any questions about this process, please contact our experienced lawyers. You can email us for a consultation or call our office at 919-794-8660. We have offices in Durham and Henderson.