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Advanced Directive & Powers of Attorney

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What is an Advance Directive (Living Will)?

An Advance Directive, also known as a Living Will, is a legal document that specifies the type of medical care that an individual does or does not want in the event they are unable to communicate their wishes. In the case of an unconscious person who suffers from a terminal illness, or a life-threatening injury, doctors, and hospitals consult the Advance Directive to determine whether or not that person wants life-sustaining treatment, such as assisted breathing or tube feeding. In the absence of an Advance Directive, decisions about medical care become the responsibility of the spouse, family members, or other third parties. These individuals may be unaware of their loved one’s desires, or they may not wish to follow the patient’s unwritten, verbal directives. If you have family or friends who will be responsible for overseeing your care, discuss your plans with them. It might be helpful to include them in the decision-making process as they might have insight into areas otherwise overlooked when planning alone.

Advance Directives become active when one faces a life-threatening condition and is unable to communicate their desires for treatment. Doctors don’t consult the Advance Directive for standard medical care that doesn’t involve life-threatening situations.

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Key Takeaways of the Advance Directive (Living Will)

  • An Advance Directive designates a person of your choice to make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions.
  • An Advance Directive provides stress relief to your loved ones from the situation.
  • An Advance Directive prevents loved ones from having to guess how you want to be treated.
  • An Advance Directive is only effective while you are incapacitated.

What is a Healthcare Power of Attorney?

The Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPA) helps people who are incapacitated to establish their wishes regarding their medical care and treatment if they are incapacitated. The persons listed on the HCPA document as the designated agent or proxy become the sick or injured person’s legal decision-maker with the power to make life and death decisions with regard to your care. Usually, the form asks for alternates in case the first-named HCPA is not available to serve in this capacity. No one can predict when a serious illness or accident might occur. When it does, you may need someone else to speak or make health care decisions for you. If you plan now, you can increase the chances that the medical treatment you get will be the treatment you want.
Questions to consider when speaking with your chosen proxy:

  1. Does your designated healthcare proxy understand your wishes?
  2. Do you trust your designated proxy’s judgment?
  3. If you had to choose, is it more important to you to live as long as possible, or to avoid prolonged suffering or disability?
  4. Would you rather be at home or in a hospital for the last days or weeks of your life?
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What is a Power of Attorney for Property?

The Power of Attorney for Property is a legal document that designates an agent or proxy to handle a variety of property matters if a person becomes incapacitated. The powers granted to your agent or proxy are usually fairly broad but can be tailored to your individual wishes.

What does ‘Durable’ mean for the Power of Attorney?

The word durable is often used to describe a Power of Attorney. This term simply means that the powers granted to your agent in the power of attorney, endure during your incapacity and last until you either are well enough again to make your own decisions or the Power of Attorney is otherwise revoked.

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How our estate planning process works

1

Initial Discovery Call

We walk you through the estate planning basics and explain and discuss those options in more detail with you during our initial discovery phone call. If you are ready to schedule this now, please click the Schedule A Call link below.
2

The Questionnaire

Once you decide to move forward, we educate ourselves about your needs based on a questionnaire that we provide to you. CLICK HERE to download.
3

The Simple Estate Planning Strategy Session

Once we review the forms you provide to us, we schedule a follow-up Simple Estate Planning Strategy Session to explain and discuss the best options available to you, so you can decide how to proceed.
4

Drafting

Once you decide on how you want to proceed, we draft your estate plan based on your wishes and present the drafts to you for review.
5

The Signing

Once you review and finalize the estate planning documents, you then sign the finalized estate planning documents and breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you have taken a major step in simplifying your end-of-life needs and goals.

Michael LaCava

Attorney  //  LaCava Law Firm, LLC

Born in Illinois and raised in Florida, Real Estate and Estate Planning Attorney Michael LaCava graduated from the University of Florida, Levin College of Law in 2013. During school and thereafter, Michael gained valuable experience in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, Family Law, Real Estate Law, and Labor and Employment.

In 2015, Michael resettled in Illinois with his family, and shortly thereafter founded LaCava Law Firm, LLC, and began serving the Fox Valley area and surrounding Chicagoland. In a short time, Michael earned an excellent reputation for his thoroughness, knowledge, accessibility, and professionalism.

Different in many ways from a typical attorney, Michael prides himself on his responsiveness, attention to detail, and the close relationships that he shares with his clients and other referring professionals. Specializing in estate planning and real estate transactions, Michael has successfully helped over a thousand clients with their needs.

michael@lacavalawfirm.com(630) 444-7504
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Michael LaCava Attorney

LaCava Law Firm, LLC is dedicated to providing affordable, responsive, and personal service to each client.

Our commitment to each client remains consistent, we treat each client with the professional attention and service they deserve, without cutting corners. The results of that dedication are evident in the reputation we have built. Our clients love us for good reason, we deliver and provide the level of service we promise.

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