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Advance Directives Attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In a medical emergency, unforeseen circumstances may leave you without the ability to express your own wishes. This becomes problematic in serious medical situations. While there is no way to prepare for every possible future outcome, you can make your wishes regarding your medical care legally enforceable through an advance directive.

An advance directive is an important step in the estate planning process. To be assured that your advance directive represents your wishes accurately and is legally enforceable, work with an experienced estate planning attorney.

Richard L. Vanderslice has decades of legal experience and is current with all the pertinent Pennsylvania laws and requirements. He can provide skilled legal guidance on estate planning matters, including advance directives. At Richard L. Vanderslice, P.C., we proudly represent clients in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and throughout Philadelphia County, Montgomery County, and Delaware County.

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What Is an Advance Directive?

An advance directive is a legally enforceable document with two main purposes. First, it describes the medical choices and treatment that you would prefer if you could not express your wishes yourself. Secondly, in an advance directive, you can appoint a person to make those decisions on your behalf.

An advance directive specifically covers decisions that would be made regarding your healthcare. By establishing an advance directive now, you can potentially save your family discomfort, trouble, and tough decisions in the future.

Your Healthcare Representative

Appointing an individual to be your healthcare representative is an important decision and one that shouldn’t be made lightly. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you make this critical choice.

Who Can I Appoint?

In Pennsylvania, you can appoint any adult to be your healthcare representative as long as they are neither your doctor nor healthcare provider, nor the owner, operator, or employee of a healthcare facility where you receive care. The exception is if you are related to the individual.

What Are Their Responsibilities?

Your healthcare representative has responsibilities regarding your treatments and medical decisions. Essentially, they can make the same decisions that you would be able to make. However, you may limit the representative’s abilities in your advance directive. Speak with an experienced estate planning attorney to learn more.

Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Directive

A Do Not Resuscitate directive differs from an advance directive. A DNR is a document that is prepared by your doctor and placed in your medical records. You direct your physician as to how you want the DNR prepared. A DNR explains that, if you were to stop breathing or if your heart was to stop beating, your healthcare providers should not try to resuscitate or revive you.

Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)

Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment are specifically focused on end-of-life care and treatment. These orders were created to lend more dignity to the end-of-life process. The POLST must be signed by your primary healthcare provider and yourself or your surrogate.

To prepare a POLST, you answer questions about whether you would want CPR, the types of interventions that you may want, and whether you would want antibiotics and artificially administered hydration and nutrition in specific circumstances.

Making Modifications

It is possible to make changes to your advance directive. Once you have decided exactly how you would like to change your advance directive, alter the document and provide copies to all the necessary parties.

Advance Directive Attorney
Serving Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

It may be difficult to contemplate not being able to represent yourself, but it could one day be your reality. An estate planning attorney will ensure that your advance directive is enforceable. Our firm is dedicated to putting your wishes and best interests first during the estate planning process. Richard L. Vanderslice, P.C. proudly represents clients in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and throughout Philadelphia County, Montgomery County, and Delaware County. Contact us today for a consultation.