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What Happens In A Situation Where Life Support Measures Are Needed But There Are No Advanced Directive Or Medical Documents In Place?

In a situation where life support measures are needed and there is not a medical power of attorney nor an advanced directive in place, an attorney should be consulted right away. Under these circumstances, an emergency guardian must be appointed. You will need to find a good attorney who has the time to do the task, and who is willing to interrupt their other work for your emergency. An emergency guardianship can be accomplished in the same week, or occasionally on the same day, if it is truly an emergency. In addition to the above, you will also need a local judge who is be able to hear the case on such short notice.

Unfortunately, it is usually very expensive to have an attorney drop all of their other cases in order to push yours to the top of their list. This is not something that will be undertaken lightly—or cheaply—but it is possible. Once this process is complete, the court appointed guardian will have the authority to sign for medical care or life support measures.

If A Patient Has An Advanced Directive In Place Will Their Decision Be Reviewed And Recognized At The Time An Emergency Medical Decision Needs To Be Made In Oklahoma?

Sadly, it is not likely their advanced directive will be reviewed when the emergency medical decision is made. Take for example, the driver of a car who has an advanced directive, is involved in a terrible accident and the ambulance is called. In this type of situation, there is an extremely low chance the emergency medical technicians will pause what they are doing to inquire about an advanced directive. Therefore, even if the advanced directive calls for medical personnel to refrain from applying life sustaining treatment, the injured person will almost certainly be transported to the emergency room to receive such treatment. An advanced directive will not always be reviewed and recognized, even though everyone involved is working hard to make the best decision for your care under the circumstances.

Who Makes My Medical Decisions If I Have Not Signed A Medical Power Of Attorney In Oklahoma?

If you do not have a medical power of attorney and become incapacitated, someone will have to petition the court to become your legal guardian, or a limited legal guardian, in order to make medical decisions for you. Usually, this will entail hiring an attorney, going to their law office, paying a retainer, and waiting for the attorney to draft the necessary legal documents. Once the proper documents are in order, the attorney will go to the courthouse to file a new guardianship case and hope to see a judge in a timely manner. All of this will take at least hours, if not days, and is usually very disruptive to the attorney’s case load. However, it is possible. The major drawback is it is usually very expensive to get an attorney to take on your case without having advanced notice.

Who Will Make Financial Decisions For Me If I Have Not Signed A Durable Power Of Attorney In Oklahoma And Have Suddenly Become Incapacitated?

If there is no durable power of attorney in place, someone will have to spend many strenuous hours, likely spread out over days, becoming the guardian of your finances—also referred to as the guardian of your estate. In the case of an emergency in which payments need to be made on your behalf, it is more likely than not that a premium attorney’s fee will have to be paid. Reason being, you will have to convince an attorney to interrupt their current case load to put your case ahead of everyone else they are representing. While this is possible, you may have difficulty finding an attorney who is willing and able to make it happen.

For more information on Advanced Healthcare Directive in Oklahoma or a Power of Attorney, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 754-4166 today.

Terrell Monks, Esq. - Estate Planning Attorney, Edmond City

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