A Michigan estate plan is not just a will that designates recipients for your assets when you die. It can also include numerous documents that protect you while you are still alive. Medical advance directives can protect you in an emergency where you cannot speak for yourself to tell doctors about the care that you would prefer to receive.
You need to have these documents in place before an emergency renders you unconscious or affects your testamentary capacity. Although some people create living wills, such documents are not effective for those living in Michigan.
There are two kinds of advance directives that you may find particularly beneficial as a Michigan resident thinking about the future.
A durable health care power of attorney
Powers of attorney are documents that designate another adult to handle certain matters on your behalf. In the event of your incapacitation, powers of attorney have the authority to empower someone else to manage your personal affairs. A durable power of attorney has language in it that ensures the document persists even if the courts declare you incapacitated and therefore unable to make your own legal decisions in the future.
A durable power of attorney addressing medical issues allows you to name someone to handle all of your medical care on your behalf if you do not have the ability or legal authority to manage those matters for yourself. You could also provide information for the person assuming that authority regarding the care that you would like to receive.
Those dealing with progressive medical issues or already well past the average life expectancy may not want heroic interventions if they have some kind of medical emergency. In fact, they may not even want hospital staff to perform CPR or artificial defibrillation if their heart temporarily stops.
By executing a Do-Not-Resuscitate order, you take control over the care that you receive even in a scenario where the person with the authority to make your health care decisions is not available to talk about your treatments.
Adding advance medical directives to your estate plan can help better protect you and guide the people to worry about your health and safety.