Multiple problems frequently arise when an adult loses capacity.  Do you remember Terri Schiavo and the 7-year court battle that her family had to endure to determine the proper course of her medical treatment? Much to the surprise of close relatives, unless certain documents are signed ahead of time, the relatives are not entitled to make health care decisions for their loved one.

The two documents that allow an individual to detail their future medical wishes are a Health Care Proxy and a Living Will. You can also combine these two into one document: in the Health Care Proxy you can both nominate an agent and provide specific instructions about your treatments.

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