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Planning for end-of-life care in Michigan

Planning for your last days isn't a thought that most people cherish; however, making the proper preparations now can help you to ensure you will get only the medical care you want during your final days. For people who live in Michigan, there are two types of advanced directives that can be used in the state. Michigan is one state that doesn't legally recognize a living will as a stand-alone advanced directive.

The Do-Not-Resuscitate Declaration is one of the two advance directives recognized in Michigan. This declaration is only good in non-hospital settings. That means that if something happens to you and you end up in the emergency room, doctors will likely still take steps to resuscitate you if necessary.

The second estate planning document to consider is the Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare. This document gives the person of your choosing the power to make choices about your health care if you can't make those choices on your own. Unlike the DNR, this document is valid in all medical settings. The person you appoint as your power of attorney using this document should be one who you trust and who has the mind to make choices in difficult situations.

It is important to remember that if these documents aren't completed properly, they aren't legally recognizable. On top of completing the forms properly, you should make sure that you let the person with the power of attorney know what your wishes are for your final days. While a living will isn't legally recognized, it might be an effective way to let your wishes be known on paper.

Source: University of Michigan Health System, "Advance Directives: Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care," July 25, 2014

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