When someone is unconscious or otherwise unable to make their own decisions, they can lose control over the decisions that are made on their behalf. This includes healthcare decisions related to forensic exams (ex: rape kits) and life-sustaining treatment. The individual may also become incapable of handling their own daily affairs, leaving issues such as managing finances and care of children in unknown hands.
This possibility is particularly scary for survivors who experience abuse at the hands of their next of kin, because their abuser may then be in charge of making important life-altering decisions on their behalf. This undesired situation can be avoided by creating some important documents that allow you to retain control of your healthcare situations, even if you are temporarily incapacitated. Jane Doe works with adults to take control of their decisions and prepare for healthcare emergencies, including the possibility of being the victim of a crime.
Jane Doe’s one-of-a-kind Holistic Healthcare Plan gives you more control than ever over your emergency healthcare by including provisions for not only traditional medical treatment, but also for mental health treatment, forensic exams, and directives specific to pregnancy. The Holistic Healthcare Plan includes an in-depth consultation and review of healthcare goals, ample time to research and make healthcare-related decisions, and plain English documents that are easy to read and understand. The plan includes:
- Advance Healthcare Directive (also called a Living Will). A healthcare directive is a document in which you specifically state which medical treatments or procedures you do or do not want under certain situations. For example, you may indicate that you want certain life-sustaining medical treatment to be administered for a certain length of time before being withdrawn, or that you do not want to undergo certain medical procedures regardless of the situation.
- Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare. In the event of a circumstance not covered by your healthcare directive, another adult must be appointed to make medical decisions on your behalf. A power of attorney for healthcare allows you to designate who will be in charge of making these decisions. Without a power of attorney for healthcare, decision-making power rests with someone determined by law to be your next of kin. With a power of attorney for healthcare, you can be sure that the person making decisions on your behalf if someone you trust.
In addition to the healthcare plan, a complete estate plan allows you to make decisions about your money, property, and the care of loved ones such as children and pets. Components of an estate plan will vary depending on your individual goals and circumstances. A typical estate plan may include the following:
- Will. A will is the most common estate planning document. A will outlines your desires and intentions regarding your family and property, including guardianship of minors, how your debts will be paid, and how your assets will be distributed. A will can be tailored to meet almost any need and circumstance.
- Trust. A trust is a tool used to protect certain assets that you want to be handled in a certain way. Property can be placed in trust during your lifetime or arranged to be put into a trust upon your death. A trust is not a required component of an estate plan and depends on your goals and needs. Some estate plans may have multiple trusts and some may not have any at all.
- Durable Power of Attorney. A durable power of attorney appoints an individual or series of individuals who are authorized to handle your personal and financial affairs. General durable powers of attorney are usually set to take effect only in the event that you are unable to handle your affairs on your own.
We are happy to offer you a no-charge telephone consultation with a lawyer to discuss how we can help you reach your goals. To speak with a lawyer, call our office at 314-329-5339 between 9am-7pm CT, Monday-Friday.
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