You don’t have to be facing a life-or-death situation in the hospital to be asked some pretty important questions about legal documents from healthcare professionals. In fact, you may have been asked some of these questions during a routine checkup at your family doctor.

“Do you have a living will?” “Are there any advanced directives in place?” “Have you thought about a DNR order?” If you’ve been shrugging these questions off, it is probably time to give them some careful consideration.

Like most important life transitions, dealing with advanced age or incapacitating health concerns can be quite complicated. But you can make these matters immeasurably simpler if you have the right legal documents in place before you need hospitalization.

Documents you might need for medical care

People at different stages of life, facing different health situations, will inevitably require different legal documents. However, many people need one or more of the following types of healthcare-related legal documents at some point in their lives:

  • Power of Attorney (POA)

    A POA can give a trusted agent the authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are unable to communicate them yourself.

  • Living Will

    Living wills can establish clear advanced directives that state your healthcare wishes when you are unable to communicate them yourself.

  • Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order

    Often filed along with a living will, a DNR order prevents healthcare providers from performing unwanted CPR and other resuscitative procedures.

Notarization for hospital patients

Many documents must be notarized to be recognized as fully legitimate and legally binding. But is this official form of third-party endorsement needed for the healthcare-related documents discussed above?

The short answer to this question is both yes and no. In America, different states may have different regulations when it comes to the authentication of POAs, living wills and DNR orders.

While not all states require official notarization for a POA, many experts recommend it in all cases because of the high level of legal verification and personal peace of mind that it provides. After all, notarization has long been a proven way to prevent fraud and guarantee the integrity of legal agreements.

Similarly, living wills and DNR orders generally do not require notarization, and many people choose to simply use third-party witness signatures instead. But the extra layer of protection that notarization affords these advanced directive documents simply cannot be overstated.

For more information about hospital notary and medical legal documents

After reading this article, hopefully you have begun to ask yourself some critical questions about which health-related legal documents you need — and what happens if you don’t have them. To learn more about how to secure your future through legal document preparation and notarization services, contact a legal document preparation specialist such as those at First Class Signing Service.

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