Many people take the time and make the effort to plan ahead – this is the whole purpose of estate planning. Sometimes estate planning takes the form of a living trust, used to manage assets while you are still living. Other times it’s about your will, and designating how your assts will be distributed when you pass away. A lesser-known facet of estate planning is that of health care directives.
Health care representatives
Oregon law permits you to make certain decisions, in advance, in the event you become unable to make them later on. One such approach is the appointment of a health care representative. The representative is someone you trust, typically a family member or close friend. Should you become incapacitated to the point that you cannot speak for yourself, your representative has been given the authority to speak on your behalf.
Typically, you will appoint an alternate representative as well, just in case your primary representative is unavailable for some reason. Oregon has a specific form which must be used for the appointment. The form must be signed by you and either notarized or signed by two witnesses. To be effective, your representative must accept the appointment.
Advance directives are a statement, made by you, expressing your wishes regarding end-of-life care. The directive includes a number of different scenarios a person may encounter, such as being near death or in a permanent unconscious state. It also includes options for life-sustaining procedures. In the directive, you can choose which scenarios you would or would not like to receive life-sustaining treatments.
Advance directives must also be completed on a specific form. However, the form for advance directives also includes the option of appointing a health care representative. By doing both, you can be confident that this facet of estate planning is complete and that your wishes will be followed.