Seasoned Estate Lawyers Assisting with Advance Directives in Vernon & Salmon Arm

It is hard to overestimate the importance of one’s own personal autonomy. The inability to speak up for oneself is something nobody wants to contemplate, but in the event of future incapacity, it is an entirely possible and unpredictable occurrence. One way to ensure your voice continues to be heard, should you become unable to speak for yourself, is with the creation of an advance directive.

An advance directive is perhaps one of the most important tools we have to preserve our personal freedom until the end of our lives. Medical decisions are extremely personal and varied; it is unlikely any two people would choose exactly the same path in dealing with their personal health decisions when considering all of the possible alternatives. As of 2011, capable adult residents of British Columbia have been entitled to outline a plan that reflects the medical treatments to which they wish to consent, or reject, based on their personal beliefs and values. Without such directives, a personal representative will make decisions based on what they believe you would choose. Having your wishes clearly expressed in writing is the best way to ensure they will be carried out exactly as you intended.

Providing Skilled Guidance Through the Challenging Process of Creating an Advance Directive

Contemplating our own future medical decisions is deeply uncomfortable for many people. However, ensuring that our medical care aligns with our personal beliefs and values at a critical time in our life is one of the last gifts we can give to ourselves.

At Cherkowski Marsden LLP, we strive to make the process of planning for future medical care as simple and easy as possible. We aim to create a casual and comfortable environment for our clients, so they feel relaxed and at ease at our office. We understand that meeting with a lawyer can feel intimidating and discussing your future incapacity can be distressing, so we do our utmost to reduce additional pressures by cultivating an atmosphere free of unnecessary formality. Our estate planning lawyers and administrative staff are all welcoming, approachable, and compassionate, focused on minimizing stress in the process of planning your estate.

What can be included in an Advance Directive?

Having conversations with friends and family about your personal beliefs and wishes around your own medical care is important and these discussions can also be helpful in clarifying those beliefs for yourself. Once you are clear on your wishes, you should set them out in writing so there is no confusion for future representatives when and if they become necessary. The following information should be included in an advance directive:

  • Any health care treatment(s) you would agree to, or refuse if recommended by a healthcare provider;
  • Whether you would accept or refuse life support and life-prolonging medical interventions for certain conditions. Medical interventions can include a ventilator to help with breathing, tube feeding, kidney dialysis, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation to restart the heart and lungs. It is possible to specify circumstances in which you would accept medical intervention and those in which you would not;
  • Your preferences should you need residential care and not be able to be cared for at home.

It is important to note that specific directions with respect to medical assistance in dying (MAID) set out in an advance directive will not be honoured. Under current Canadian law, a person wishing to make a MAID request is required to have capacity to consent at the time of the procedure.

It is imperative that the instructions and directions included in an advance directive be painstakingly clear and free of any ambiguity. These are directions that will be taken into account by a personal representative and/or medical staff, and so they must be extremely precise and easy to understand. Our lawyers have extensive experience in advising on and drafting advance directives with supreme care and attention to detail.

Obtain Compassionate, Carefully Considered Advice on Advance Directives from the Estate Lawyers at Cherkowski Marsden LLP

Considerations such as future medical care and life-prolonging medical interventions can be overwhelming. There is a lot to think about, and many people are uncomfortable with the process. At Cherkowski Marsden LLP, we understand how clients feel about this undertaking, and we have the experience and the approach that can help to make this incredibly important process as easy as possible for our clients. Our lawyers will work to ensure that you have considered all of your options and will design a plan for you that will ultimately provide you with the incredible relief of knowing that you’ve taken the time to ensure that your voice will be heard for the entirety of your life, no matter what might occur in the future. Contact us online or by phone at 250-308-0338 (Vernon office) or 250-803-9171 (Salmon Arm office).