Jan Cummins - Counselor at Law


Q: Why do I need an attorney-created Health Care Directive when I can get one from the hospital for free?


The Health Care Directive (“HCD”) form available in many Senior Centers and at most hospitals refers primarily to your medical care in the hospital and issues surrounding organ donation that might affect what the hospital has a right to do. These HCDs usually do not include instructions for disposition of your remains, your memorial service, or any other instructions to your loved ones for carrying out your wishes after your death or for your care outside of the hospital during your lifetime. An attorney prepared HCD can address all of those concerns and more, and act as a useful guide for your family and friends to follow when you are not able to give instructions. Such a document can prevent or at least mitigate hard feelings, and even perhaps some family squabbles. This is why these documents are often called “Living Wills.”

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