Advanced Medical Directives Lawyer Des Moines, IA
As an Advanced medical directives lawyer Des Moines, IA at Law Group of Iowa can explain, medical directives are documents within an estate plan that tells doctors and your closest loved ones what your medical wishes are in certain scenarios. Such preferences may entail what you do and do not want to have done at the end of your life. Before drafting an advanced healthcare directive, you should consider the various kinds of medical situations that can happen at any point throughout your lifetime. Your legal team and your treating physicians can work together to assist you in establishing a proper advanced medical directive.
Writing a Valid Directive
As your advanced medical directives lawyer in Des Moines, Iowa can review with you, in order to have a valid directive, a person has to be at least 18 years or older and have a sound mind and capacity to make decisions. Adult witnesses or a notary public may be required to sign and confirm that an advanced medical directive is valid. By providing these signatures, it acknowledges that the person creating the document is acting from their very own will and is competent to do so.
Witnesses and Signatures
Examples of people who cannot serve as witnesses include alternative health care agents, employees of a healthcare facility, a healthcare agent, or supervising healthcare provider. Additionally, your family members by adoption, marriage, or blood are not permitted to be witnesses for an advance medical directive either. It is worth noting that these directives can be updated or revoked at any time. But in order to revoke a health directive, the person has to notify their healthcare provider in writing or in person. Writing a new advanced medical directive automatically revokes and replaces any previous directive.
3 Types of Advanced Medical Directives
There are three different advanced medical directives that are commonly used. They are living wills, healthcare proxies, and powers of attorney. These are 3 different types of things that can be used as advanced medical directives. They are rather similar in many of their functions but do have some important differences. An advanced medical directives lawyer in Des Moines, IA from our firm can fill you in more on the different details of these 3 different kinds of medical directives. Our firm can also help draft these documents and recommend which one is right for you or your loved one.
What’s a Living Will?
A living will is a document that states what to do with someone when they no longer can make medical decisions for themselves. For example, if someone is in a coma or has dementia, this document will state how doctors or healthcare professionals should care for them. This document can also put forward whether the person wishes to be resuscitated in the event that they need life support or other life-saving care. Comforts, like lowering pain and suffering, are often items that are put into this document as well. A living will is an important document to establish and an advanced medical directives attorney in Des Moines, IA from the Law Group of Iowa can help establish this important document.
What is a Healthcare Proxy?
A healthcare proxy is a document that establishes a dedicated person that can take care of important medical decisions in the event that a person becomes incapacitated. This person will be used when a doctor deems that a patient no longer has the ability to make their own choices for their medical care. This could be from a communication problem of the person too that prohibits them from being able to adequately make themselves understood.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is another way that important decisions can be made by someone else for another person who has become incapacitated or doesn’t feel they can make decisions on their own. For example, if someone is on many different types of medicines and is in the hospital, they may not have a mind that is completely clear to make important decisions. This is where a power of attorney can be especially useful to make decisions on the person’s behalf who is struggling to think coherently and make sound decisions.
How a Medical Directive Lawyer Can Help
A medical directives lawyer in Des Moines, IA from The Law Group of Iowa is an important person to contact. We can help set up these documents and answer any questions you may have related to your loved one or yourself. We will ensure that all details are considered and that your documents are sound. Waiting too long to set up these kinds of important documents can cause additional problems down the road. That is why it is recommended to get these important tasks taken care of sooner rather than later advanced medical directives. They are rather similar in many of their functions but do have some important differences. An advanced medical directives lawyer in Des Moines, IA from our firm can fill you in more on the different details of these 3 different kinds of medical directives. Our firm can also help draft these documents and recommend which one is right for you or your loved one.
The Law Group of Iowa
If you are in need of a lawyer for assistance with an advanced medical directive, don’t hesitate to call our law firm today for assistance. We have the knowledge and experience needed to guide you as you create or edit your advanced medical directive or other estate planning document. We can see to it that your directive abides by all state law requirements for Iowa, as it will be important that it is seen as valid in the eyes of the court.
We know that people may need legal services for a myriad of reasons. We can be that trusted law firm you and your family turn to when something comes up in life that you need help with. Aside from estate planning, we can assist clients with matters related to family law, personal injury, elder law, and so much more. Don’t hesitate to contact an Iowa advanced medical directives lawyer in Des Moines at Law Group of Iowa now to schedule a consultation!
Reach Out Today
If you have not yet drafted any estate plan documentation – or you have only drafted a will – it is time to speak with a knowledgeable Des Moines, IA advanced medical directives lawyer at the Law Group of Iowa about your additional estate planning needs. All too often, individuals are led to believe that if they simply draft a will, their estate planning work is done. In truth, basic estate planning needs extend beyond dictating how your property will be distributed in the wake of your death.
Once you meet with a skilled Des Moines advanced medical directives lawyer at our firm and they learn more about your unique life circumstances, needs, and preferences, they’ll be able to provide you with personalized guidance concerning which estate planning documentation you’ll need to put in place to “cover all your bases.” Regardless of your age, economic status, and familial status, however, our team will certainly recommend that you name a power of attorney and work with us to put an advanced healthcare directive into place.
What Is an Advanced Medical Directive?
An advanced medical directive – also commonly referred to as a living will – allows you to specify whether you do or do not consent to certain kinds of medical care in the event that you have been incapacitated by an illness or injury that renders you unable to make these declarations to your care team in the moment.
Indicating how you want to be treated – and when you want your care team to refrain from providing specific kinds of treatment – will better ensure that your wishes are honored in the event that you become so ill or injured that you cannot advocate for yourself. For example, you may choose to specify at what point you would or would not consent to be taken off of life support in the event that you have fallen into a coma.
If you choose to name a power of attorney for healthcare, that personal representative will only make independent decisions on your behalf if you have not specified your needs and preferences in re: a specific matter within your living will. Meaning, this document will govern the ins and outs of your care while you’re incapacitated. Your power of attorney will only be called upon to make decisions if a situation falls outside of scenarios detailed within your advanced medical directive.
Legal Assistance Is Available
The process of outlining your wishes in the event of an injury or illness so severe that it is incapacitating can be an intimidating process. Know that the compassionate Des Moines advanced medical directives lawyer team at the Law Group of Iowa will do everything we can to make the process of protecting your rights and interests in this way as low-stress as possible for you. Although it can be tough to take this step, your future self may thank you profoundly for making this effort. We look forward to speaking with you.
Advanced Medical Directives Lawyer
If you have heard that some estate planning resources can aid you in reducing your estate tax burden and you’re interested in learning more, please consider connecting with a knowledgeable Des Moines, IA advanced medical directives lawyer at the Law Group of Iowa today. Our team would be happy to discuss how structuring your estate plan in certain ways can mitigate your estate tax liability and enhance your asset protection strategy at the same time.
The primary legal tool that is utilized for this dual purpose is an irrevocable trust. Trusts can be created for a host of different purposes. Charitable giving trusts foster a legacy that extends beyond one’s own family. Special needs trusts assist those with disabilities who need financial support without compromising their ability to obtain federal benefits. Revocable living trusts help estates to avoid probate. Irrevocable trusts are a different “breed” of trust altogether, as most of the above trusts are usually set up in a revocable capacity. They are attached to truly significant financial and legal benefits but, unlike most other trusts, they can’t be modified once they are set in motion.
Irrevocable Trusts: The Basics
As our Des Moines advanced medical directives lawyer team can explain in greater detail during a consultation, irrevocable trusts allow a creator to forfeit ownership of specific assets so that they can be transferred to a beneficiary. This kind of trust is managed by a third-party trustee, who works to ensure that the terms of the trust – set by the creator – are honored as the assets in question are distributed.
In addition to being irrevocable upon their execution, this trust type cannot be amended unless either a beneficiary of the trust or the court consents to such action. As a result, they must be carefully planned out before they’re implemented.
It is because one’s ownership interest in the assets placed in the trust is revoked that this resource allows for mitigation of an estate’s tax burden. Instead of passing ownership of assets along after one’s death, they are passed along proactively. As such, the estate cannot claim any interest in the trust assets any longer and, as a consequence, cannot be taxed with regard to their value.
Assets placed in an irrevocable trust will bypass probate. These trusts may be set up in a living, charitable, testamentary, and even life insurance capacities.
If you are interested in learning more about irrevocable trusts and other estate planning options designed to protect your interests, connect with an experienced Des Moines advanced medical directives lawyer at the Law Group of Iowa today. Especially if your assets are complex or you have a high-value estate, you’ll want to be proactive in mitigating the tax liability that your loved ones will be otherwise compelled to bear in the wake of your passing. Once we understand the ins and outs of your financial situation, we can provide you with personalized legal guidance tailored uniquely to your concerns. We look forward to speaking with you.