Q: What is the Advance Directive?
A: The Advance Directive is a legal document that allows you to make your health care wishes, including end of life decisions, known if you are unable to speak for yourself .
Q: Do I really need an Advance Directive?
A: An Advance Directive is recommended for everyone 18 and older, regardless of their health status, to ensure their health care wishes are known and followed. Making health decisions for a family member can be extremely difficult and emotional. The Advance Directive offers peace of mind. By making these difficult decisions ahead of time, you take the burden off your loved ones. If you become so sick you can’t make your own decisions, without an Advance Directive your loved ones may be forced to seek costly legal fixes to make medical decisions for you.
Q: I have an old document from 2010, is it still valid?
A: Even though Oregon did put out a new version of the Advance Directive at the beginning of 2019, an older document (assuming it is correctly executed and accurately represents your wishes) continues to be valid.
Q: How do I choose a health care representative?
A: While an easy choice for some, others have a hard time choosing the person they want to name as their Health Care Representative. Your attorney can help you walk through your options as this is a very case-specific choice. Age, medical background, location, personality, and relationship are all factors that should be considered.
Q: Where should I store my Advance Directive?
A: Unfortunately, Oregon does not currently have a registry for Advance Directives like it does for the POLST form. You should give a copy to your treating physician(s) and to everyone named in your document. You should keep your Advance Directive in a safe location, ideally somewhere fireproof yet accessible. Most people will store this document with their other estate planning documents.
Fitzwater Law’s estate planning attorneys are here to assist you in completing your Advance Directive form. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can access Oregon’s new Advance Directive form by clicking here.