A complete estate plan should include tools used to address issues to help your family help you when it comes to your medical care. Some of these tools are part of your estate plan you work on with your attorney. Others might be orders from your doctor.
The agent you name in your medical power of attorney is the person you want to make medical decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself. This might be because you’re incapacitated due to illness or injury or even if sedated during surgery.
In contrast, a living will (in Texas, more formally called Directives to Physicians and Family or Surrogates) is a statement by a person that states whether she wants to be kept alive using life-sustaining treatment if she is at end of life, meaning she is generally expected to die within six months. Your living will is used only if you are not able to speak for yourself.
Other medical planning documents such as a DNR or a POLST might be part of your overall plan for your medical care. These, however, are medical orders, not items drafted by an attorney.
A DNR (do not resuscitate) is a physician’s order. It is an order that states resuscitation (the act of restoring breathing or heartbeat) should not happen at all — no matter the cause of any cardiac arrest.
POLST stands for Physician Order for Life Sustaining Treatment. Texas uses a Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST) form, which, like a DNR, is a physician’s order. These physician orders are advanced from a living will and are used only when someone is near the end of life.
Learn more below about health care planning and how McCreary Law Office can assist you. For more information, contact the Houston office directly or complete the online form, and we can schedule an introductory call.
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