A complete Michigan estate plan does not just inform your heirs of what they will receive after you die. It will also provide instructions for certain situations while you are still alive. In particular, the estate plan should include documents that explain your health care wishes if you are incapacitated and cannot speak for yourself. At Gormley and Johnson Law Offices, PLC, we often counsel clients on the importance of having a medical power of attorney and a living will. 

In your medical power of attorney, you designate a person who will make your decisions for you. You can identify exactly which decisions this health care proxy can make for you, and this will go into effect when a doctor indicates that you are incapacitated. Talk to the person you choose about your philosophies and beliefs regarding end-of-life care as well as your exact wishes so that if circumstances arise that you have never discussed, he or she will understand what you would have chosen for yourself. 

On the other hand, as the University of Michigan Health points out, you may know exactly how you feel about certain life-prolonging procedures. You may want medical professionals to perform CPR, place you on a ventilator and insert feeding tubes for nutrition and fluids, or perhaps you feel strongly against one or more of these options. In your living will, you can designate exactly what you do and do not want so that your future does not entirely rest in the hands of your health care proxy. 

More information about advance directives is available on our webpage.