One of the single most important and most personal decisions you will make is the decision of how you will leave this world. People with a terminal illness, end-stage disease, or life-threatening injuries will get the comfort of choosing how they want to transition at the end of their life. Many people opt for hospice care. If this is your choice, you need to make your wishes clear and you should take steps to get your affairs in order.
Pyke & Associates, P.C. can help. We work with patients and families who have made the choice to seek hospice care. Our goals are to take care of all of the legal issues that arise so you and your family can have time together and so the legacy, assets, and autonomy of the hospice patient can be protected. Give our Atlanta hospice planning lawyers a call today for personalized assistance and to get answers to some of the questions you likely have including:
- How can I make sure I get hospice care if this is my choice?
- What legal issues should be taken care of before a patient goes into hospice?
- How can an Atlanta, GA hospice planning lawyer help?
How Can You Make Sure You Get Hospice Care?
If you want to receive hospice care and want no extraordinary measures taken to prolong your life, you have the right to make this choice for yourself. However, your family or doctors might not be aware of this choice or might not respect it, unless you have made your wishes clear.
You can express your preference for hospice care by using advanced directives. There are different types of documents and tools available to specify your wishes for healthcare and hospice care services in advance including:
- A living will, which is a comprehensive document you can create detailing the kinds of medical care you do (and do not) want to undergo.
- A Do Not Resuscitate order, which is an order which can go in all of your medical records and files to alert healthcare providers that you do not want CPR or other extraordinary life-prolonging measures taken.
- A healthcare power of attorney, which allows you to name a healthcare proxy. If a medical decision has to be made, you cannot make it, and you didn’t make your decision clear in advance, your healthcare proxy will be asked what to do. You should hopefully select someone as your proxy who understands what you want as far as end-of-life care and who will respect you enough to honor your wishes.
No one should ever be forced to undergo medical treatment they do not want when they have a serious illness or injury. It is up to you to be proactive about ensuring that you never end up being kept alive with no remaining quality of life. Pyke & Associates, P.C. will help you to do this by creating legal documents making your preference for hospice care clear.
What Legal Issues Must be Taken Care of By Hospice Patients?
There are many other legal documents you may wish to consider creating when you’ve decided to enter hospice. Going into hospice gives you the benefit of knowing you will soon be at the end of your life, so you can make plans to take care of those who you love after you are gone. You can protect and provide for the people you care about by taking care of certain key legal issues including:
- Making a plan for incapacity. You can use a power of attorney, living trust, and other legal tools to specify who is in charge of managing and protecting property and assets when you can’t. This will help keep your heirs’ inheritance safe.
- Creating a comprehensive estate plan. You should have a will, and potentially also have trusts to facilitate the easy transfer of assets outside of probate. Depending upon your situation, your estate plan may be aimed at avoiding or reducing estate taxes as well as providing special protections to certain heirs if you’re worried about them losing money quickly.
The specific issues you will need to address are very personal to you, so reach out to a lawyer for advice on your situation when you’ve decided hospice is the right choice.
How Can an Atlanta, GA Hospice Planning Lawyer Help?
A Georgia hospice planning lawyer at Pyke & Associates, P.C. can provide help to clients in Atlanta, Stockbridge, and Peachtree City. If you or a loved one is going to be getting hospice care and you want to make sure all of your legal needs are met, give us a call at 770-507-2500 or contact us online.