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3 issues someone can address in an advance health care directive

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2024 | Estate Administration & Probate |

An Oklahoma estate plan doesn’t just provide guidance for someone’s funeral and instructions for handing out their property after they die. A thorough estate plan can also include numerous other documents that may take effect while someone is still alive.

Incapacity planning is important for those with health concerns and those preparing for retirement. Even the average young professional might benefit from adding advance directives and powers of attorney to their estate plan in case they have some kind of medical emergency in the future. For example, in Oklahoma, an advance directive for health care usually addresses three different types of medical wishes.

End of life care

One of the most important elements of an advance directive is how it provides clarity about someone’s medical preference. An advance directive can discuss someone’s preferences about life support when they experience terminal medical conditions, become persistently unconscious or have an end-stage condition. The document also provides space for someone to provide personal guidance on scenarios in which they prefer to end or receive life-sustaining treatment.

A healthcare proxy

The second section of a standard advance health care directive in Oklahoma provides an opportunity for someone to name an individual to handle medical matters for them. The person named as someone’s health care proxy can potentially hear details about their treatment and make choices about their medical care based on the preferences that they have outlined in the document and otherwise discussed with that individual. The testator can also name an alternate.

Anatomical gifts

The final section in an advance health care directive in Oklahoma allows someone an opportunity to make an anatomical gift after their passing. Some people would like to donate organs or tissue to others who might be in need of donation. Transplants can provide enhanced quality of life in some cases or can quite literally save someone’s life in others. Other people, including those with unusual medical conditions, might donate their bodies for medical research. Families often struggle with decisions regarding anatomical gifts and may not follow someone’s wishes if they do not provide clear instructions in writing.

Integrating an advance health care directive into an Oklahoma estate plan can give someone more peace of mind regarding their medical care if they experience some kind of emergency in the future and can also take pressure off of individuals who love someone if they become unable to speak on their own behalf.