What are advance directives?

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2021 | Estate Planning

In Michigan, there are two different kinds of advance directives that are recognized as legal and binding: the do not resuscitate declaration and the durable power of attorney for healthcare. These are important aspects of letting a person declare their health preferences and desires.

How do advanced directives in Michigan work?

Classically, there are three different parts of an advance directive. The DNR and the power of attorney are two, and the third is a living will, which is a list of detailed health care instructions and guidelines. The living will is not a legally accepted and binding document, but it can still be useful to provide information and guidance to the person or people who might be required to make healthcare decisions.

Writing up one or more elements of an advance directive is part of estate planning. Since they are legal documents, it is important to fill them out correctly and completely, or else they might not be binding when they are needed. This is especially important for the health care power of attorney, but all of them have required elements and components, so make sure they are all filled out properly.

It is much better to have an advance directive done in advance in Michigan, which can have a health care power of attorney, a DNR order, or both. A living will be a useful supplemental document but it is not legally binding. Each of these tells family and care providers what to do in case a person is incapacitated and is not able to make medical decisions or communicate effectively for themselves, and needs the proxy to do it for them.