One of the common responses that many people have as they learn about estate planning is that there are a number of estate planning documents. In addition to things like wills, living wills, advance directives and powers of attorney, there also also a number of other important documents.
In New York there are Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) forms. This article briefly reviews what MOLST forms do and situations where you might need one of these documents.
The Role of MOLST Forms
MOLST forms are doctor’s orders that help an individual retain control over medical choices that are made at the end of a person’s life. Similar to Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders, these forms instruct medical professionals to not perform resuscitation on an individual following an emergency.
Because MOLST forms can provide additional details about a person’s end of life decisions, many individuals who use MOLST forms do so in combination with DNR orders.
What Makes MOLST Forms Unique
The additional information that MOLST forms include can be things like how antibiotics, intubation, and feeding tubes should be used. MOLST forms also help medical professionals understand a person’s wishes.
These documents, however, should never be used in place of other vital advance health care directives like living wills and health care proxies. This is because living wills and health care proxies address things that MOLST forms do not like who should act as a health care agent.
How MOLST Forms Are Created
Fortunately, health care professionals can help you create MOLST forms if you enter medical facilities or health care settings. All valid MOLST forms must be signed by a medical professional and an individual or their health care representative. Often times, MOLST forms are printed on pink paper, which makes them easy to spot among the shuffle of other medical papers that a person might have.
Unlike some other types of estate planning documents, an individual is able to alter a MOLST form at any time. An estate planning attorney can help you both create as well as revise a MOLST form if you experience any challenges.
The Value of Advance Health Care Directives
Often, a person will only need a MOLST if the individual is facing a life-threatening condition. If a person is healthy, they will only need a living will and a health care power of attorney to make sure that their medical choices are fully carried out.
For patients who face terminal conditions, however, MOLSTs corms can be invaluable. This is because living wills and powers of attorney are often not enough to prevent medical professionals from resuscitating patients following an emergency. If you do not want emergency measures taken, it can help to discuss the role that a MOLST might play in your estate plan with an experienced estate planning lawyer.
Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer
The estate planning process is complex. Fortunately, an experienced estate planning lawyer can make this process seem much less overwhelming. Contact Ettinger Estate Planning today to schedule a free initial consultation.