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Healthcare Proxy Lawyer in Wisconsin

Healthcare Proxy Lawyer in Wisconsin

A healthcare proxy, also written as health care proxy, is a means to ensure that––in the event you become incapacitated––someone you trust carries out your wishes regarding medical treatment. This document is a great comforting tool that you can use, knowing someone you trust will make the right medical decisions on your behalf.

At Heritage Law Office, our estate planning attorney in Wisconsin will help you draft a healthcare proxy document as part of your estate plan. We aim to create a health care proxy that reflects your beliefs regarding health, illness, and death and incorporates any pertinent religious practices or medical treatment preferences, especially those related to life-sustaining care or comfort care. Contact our healthcare proxy attorney today either by sending us a message or at 414-253-8500 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about the benefits this document can provide.

What Constitutes a Healthcare Proxy in Milwaukee?

A healthcare proxy is a legal document that allows you to appoint a person of your choosing to act as your healthcare agent and make healthcare decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated. Many people choose their partner or spouse, adult child, or sibling to act as their healthcare proxy. Whoever you choose, make sure it is someone that is able to make important decisions swiftly in emergency situations. 

A healthcare proxy is only effective when you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself, and this has been verified by a physician. You always have the ability to change or revoke your healthcare proxy as long as you are competent. 

Other names for a healthcare proxy, depending on the jurisdiction you reside in, include health care surrogate and medical power of attorney (POA).

How Does a Healthcare Proxy Differ from a Living Will in Wisconsin?

A Living Will is a document that allows you to specify what your wishes are regarding end-of-life care and life-prolonging procedures. It is not addressed to anyone in particular but makes your medical care wishes clear to your family, friends, and medical personnel. This differs from a healthcare proxy in that the proxy is actually appointing a person to make your healthcare decisions on your behalf. A healthcare proxy is extremely helpful as it allows the person you appoint to make decisions for situations that were not anticipated and addressed beforehand (like in a Living Will).

There is a document known as an Advance Directive that is available in some jurisdictions that combines properties of the Living Will and the healthcare proxy.  

Why Have a Healthcare Proxy in Wisconsin?

Having an appointed healthcare proxy can not only bring peace of mind in knowing you have someone looking out for your interests even when you are unable to do so, it can also prevent strife and unnecessary delay in care. For example, family members often disagree on what type of medical care a loved one should receive, and valuable time is spent arguing. By appointing a specific person to make your healthcare decisions, you are able to avoid this.

Without a healthcare proxy, medical establishments will look to state law to determine who can make medical decisions on your behalf. With that said, you especially want a healthcare proxy when any of the following situations are present:

  • You have been diagnosed with a serious or terminal illness
  • You have reached an age where illnesses are more prevalent
  • You are in the process of drafting or updating a Will or other advance directive documents

But again, it's important to stress that you do not (and should not) wait until the last minute to create a healthcare proxy because we never know with certainty when something might happen, like a serious car accident.

Contact an Estate Planning Attorney in Wisconsin Today

Every person's situation is unique, and what you need in a health care plan will differ from anyone else. Because of this, it is in your best interest to meet with an estate planning attorney. They will be able to confer with you, learn the details of your specific situation, and advise you on the best way to proceed to protect yourself and those you love. An estate planning lawyer in your state will know the laws, regulations, and estate planning tools that apply in your jurisdiction and can give you specific guidance. 

At Heritage Law Office, our healthcare proxy lawyer in Milwaukee will help you draft or update a healthcare proxy to make sure that your interests and beliefs are adequately addressed. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation either by filling out our online form or calling us directly at 414-253-8500.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is a healthcare proxy?

A healthcare proxy, also known as a health care surrogate or medical power of attorney (POA) in some jurisdictions, is a legal document that allows you to appoint a person of your choosing to act as your healthcare agent. This agent will make healthcare decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated and unable to make those decisions yourself. A healthcare proxy takes effect when your inability to make decisions has been medically confirmed. It's crucial to choose a healthcare proxy who can make prompt, important decisions in emergency situations.

2. How does a healthcare proxy differ from a Living Will?

While a Living Will allows you to specify your wishes regarding end-of-life care and life-prolonging procedures, a healthcare proxy appoints a person to make your healthcare decisions on your behalf. The appointed person can make decisions for situations not anticipated and addressed in a Living Will. Some jurisdictions provide an Advance Directive document, combining the properties of a Living Will and healthcare proxy.

3. Why should I have a healthcare proxy in Wisconsin?

Appointing a healthcare proxy brings peace of mind, knowing that someone you trust will make decisions aligning with your interests when you cannot. A healthcare proxy can prevent delays in care and strife among family members by clarifying who is authorized to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. Without a healthcare proxy, medical establishments defer to state law to determine this. It's essential to establish a healthcare proxy if you're diagnosed with a serious or terminal illness, at an age where illnesses are more common, or are drafting or updating a Will or other advance directive documents.

4. Can I change or revoke my healthcare proxy?

Yes, you have the right to change or revoke your healthcare proxy at any time, provided you are mentally competent. This allows you to adapt your arrangements to changing circumstances or preferences. Consulting an estate planning attorney can help ensure these changes are made correctly and legally.

5. How can Heritage Law Office assist with my healthcare proxy needs?

At Heritage Law Office, our estate planning attorney will guide you in drafting a healthcare proxy that aligns with your beliefs regarding health, illness, and death, and incorporates any relevant religious practices or treatment preferences. We provide a free consultation to understand your unique needs and circumstances, and offer the professional, personalized advice necessary to protect your interests and those you love. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation either by filling out our online form or calling us directly at 414-253-8500.

Contact Us Today

For a comprehensive plan that will meet your needs or the needs of a loved one, contact us today. Located in Downtown Milwaukee, we serve Milwaukee County, surrounding communities, and to clients across Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and California.

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