Almost all of us who die of a protracted illness and even many of us who do die a "sudden death" will face medical choices at a time when we lack the capacity to provide informed consent.
Informed Consent is the necessary agreement to care or the withdrawal of care that a patient must give to a surgical or medical procedure or participation in a clinical study after achieving an understanding of the relevant medical facts and the risks involved. Such consent requires that a patient have the mental capacity to truly understand the treatment involved and the ability to communicate their wishes. When a patient has cognitive impairment, whether from a head injury, side effects of medication, dementia, or even dehydration they many have the understanding necessary. If they are unconscious they cannot communicate.
At those times, someone else must make those medical choices for them. A disability plan designates who should make those choices and provides guidance about what those choices should be. The plan also says who should be managing their finances and care for their children and pets.
Because of the importance of the jobs being delegated and the frequency of need, a good disability plan should be a key part of any estate planning practice. It can also be done as a stand alone project. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment to learn more, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 459-1908.