By, Jody Hudspeth, Paralegal for The Law Offices of Carol Bertsch, PC
Coronavirus is all over the news and yes—it’s here in San Antonio, too. Fortunately, Bexar County residents are practicing social distancing to flatten the curve and save lives, including yours and your loved ones. We’re living in uncertain times. Hopefully you will stay well, but it’s good idea to be prepared in case you get sick.
You may have gotten your affairs in order 20 years ago and stuck your documents in a filing cabinet somewhere, but a lot can change in 20 years. Perhaps your children are grown, or you have gotten divorced, or your spouse’s health has declined. In fact, you may be a caregiver now for someone you’ve appointed to help you when you can’t make decisions for yourself. If any of this rings true for you, it’s time to update your Advance Directives.
Here’s a look at the documents you should have in case you get sick:
Medical Power of Attorney
This document designates someone to make healthcare decisions for you if you’re unable to make them yourself. This document does not become effective until you are incapacitated.
This document gives medical providers permission to release medical records to your medical agent even while you have capacity. This document can be especially helpful for your appointed agent to handle your billing and insurance claims when you are sick.
Directive to Physicians
This document is sometimes called a Living Will. It allows you to decide in advance if you wish to have artificial measures used to sustain life when you are near death if your condition is irreversible or terminal.
If you already have your Advance Directives, good for you! That’s one less thing to worry about during this already stressful time. However, if you haven’t had a chance to get your Advance Directives together, give us a call at (210)892-4555. We are committed to serving the elderly and disabled during the Coronavirus pandemic.
We also recognize that some of you may get sick unexpectedly and may not have time to have an attorney draft Advance Directives for you. There also may be some of you who cannot afford legal counsel at this time. Don’t let anything stand in the way of getting your Advance Directives done. TexasLawHelp.org has free, readymade forms for the general public. Click here to access the forms.