Taking the time to create advance directives as a part of a comprehensive estate plan is an essential step for any adult living in the Greensboro, North Carolina area. The process of creating advance directives in North Carolina is not too difficult, and it’s something that every capable adult can do at any time. As long as you know the kind of medical treatment you would want to receive when you are incapacitated, you can make a medical directives that states your choices in as much detail as you like. You are also free to update or modify these directors as you see fit.
Making Your Advance Directives in North Carolina
It’s important to remember that there are two types of medical directives in North Carolina: a health care power of attorney and a living will. Both of these documents require you to be of sound mind at the time you create them. This means that you must be able to make your own decisions.
The sound mind requirement is something almost everyone meets. Unless a court has determined that you are no longer capable of making your own decisions, or you are under the influence of a mind-altering condition, you probably have the capacity to make any type of legal document, including an advance directive.
Each directive you create must comply with North Carolina law. Though your estate planning attorney will guide you in the creation of these documents, you must be able to sign them, or direct someone to sign on your behalf.
Changing Your Advance Directives
It’s very natural for people who have created a living will or health care power of attorney to change their minds about the medical choices they have made. In such circumstances, updating your advance directives to reflect your current attitudes is a necessity. To do this you will have to create new documents that reflect your current choices. As you did with your prior documents, you must ensure the new documents comply with North Carolina law.
Expressing Your Decisions
In some situations, people with advance directives experience a change of heart. For example, let’s say you are involved in an accident. Several years ago you made a living will that stated your healthcare preferences, but you have since changed your mind about the choices you made in the document. However, you haven’t taken the time to update the document to reflect your new choices. In this situation you can just tell your doctor what you want and he or she will have to follow your directions.
The big caveat, however, is that many situations render you unable to express your decisions. In such a situation you absolutely must have an advance directive in place.