Determining Your Wishes
While wills allow people to distribute their assets following death, living wills allow people to express their wishes to their doctors in case of incapacitation. Someone who drafts a living will with a will lawyer near Tracy and Manteca can outline whether or not to artificially prolong life if a devastating injury or illness occurs. Oftentimes, a will lawyer will combine the living will with a health care proxy, which designates someone to make health care decisions in cases of incapacitation.
Determining Your Wishes
If you create a living will, this written document will outline what medical treatments you approve for keeping you alive. You can also outline other medical decisions, including pain management and organ donation. Making these kinds of decisions can be difficult, so you need to closely consider your values. For example, consider how important it is for you to be independent and self-sufficient. You should also talk with your attorney about whether or not there are any situations in which you would like your treatment extended. For example, assess whether you would only want treatment if recovery is possible.
A great way to evaluate your wishes in your living will is to talk to your doctor, health care agent, or family and friends. Tapping into these resources can help you organize your thoughts and feelings about end-of-life care. Additionally, resources to help you make this important decision are available through the American Bar Association, the Center for Practical Bioethics, and the Conservation Project.
Addressing Possible Decisions
If you are unsure of any possible end-of-life care decisions, you should seek clarification from your doctor or another trusted medical professional. In your living will, you need to address resuscitation, which restarts your heart if it has stopped beating. You will also need to determine whether you want mechanical ventilation, which takes over breathing if you are unable to breathe on your own. In this situation, you need to determine if and for how long you would allow mechanical ventilation. Other issues to discuss with your attorney include tube feeding, dialysis, and organ donation.
State Certification in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law
Michael C. Belden is an estate planning lawyer in Tracy who is also a specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. This program is a California Supreme Court-approved method for certifying attorneys as specialists in different areas of law. In earning this distinction, Mr. Belden had to successfully pass a written examination, attend a number of education programs, complete specific tasks in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate, and undergo a peer review.
In order for Mr. Belden to register to become an estate law specialist, he needed to practice in the specialty area for a certain period of time. Once Mr. Belden passed the Legal Specialist Examination, he is eligible to continue on in the certification process. Through this rigorous process, the State Bar of California ensures that Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law specialists have the knowledge and experience necessary to help his clients.
Mistakes to Avoid When a Car Accident Happens
Following a car accident, you might have to deal with the consequences of missing work, fixing damage to your car, handling liability issues, and seeking treatment for related injuries. In addition, you may need to contact a personal injury lawyer in Tracy at Bakerink, McCusker & Belden to ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve. While it’s important to know what steps to take following a car accident, it is equally important to understand what mistakes to avoid.
Leaving the Scene
If you’re involved in a car accident where the damage appears minor, you should still stay at the scene. You are legally required to stop and check on the other people involved, regardless of how serious the accident initially appears. You should also exchange insurance information with the other driver so that you can provide this information to your lawyer and insurance company. In some states, driving away from an accident scene involving injuries can result in felony charges. Not only do you need to check on the scene, but if someone is injured, you must provide aid, transport him or her to the hospital, or wait for help to arrive.
Forgetting Proper Documentation
Once you’ve called 911 to report the accident, you need to make sure you properly document the incident for the personal injury lawyers that could become involved in your case. As soon as possible following the accident, write down exactly what happened in the moments leading up to the incident and when the crash occurred. For example, you need to know what street you were on, what direction you were headed, and when the other driver came onto the scene. Not only will you want to provide this information to your attorney, but you will also need to give it to law enforcement and your insurance provider.
Neglecting the Aftermath
Coping with the trauma of a car accident is difficult, but you still need to follow up on the aftermath by seeking medical treatment and consulting an accident attorney with Bakerink, McCusker & Belden. It’s especially important to get in touch with a lawyer if your resulting injuries will require extensive medical treatment.
Meet Attorney Michael C. Belden
At Bakerink, McCusker & Belden , our attorneys in Tracy are dedicated to providing our valued clientele with comprehensive legal guidance in our areas of specialization. Attorney Michael C. Belden, one of our partners, has extensive experience in the areas of estate planning, probate, trust administration, and bankruptcy. In 2014, the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization granted Mr. Belden the designation of Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law. The exhaustive certification process involved a number of continuing education programs, peer reviews, and an intensive examination.
Before Mr. Belden joined our law firm, he served as Assistant Banking Center Manager for Bank of America. He later reviewed appellate cases for the Civil Justice Association of California. Mr. Belden joined the law offices of Bakerink & McCusker as a law clerk in 2003, focusing on estate planning and related matters. He graduated from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 2005 and was subsequently admitted to the California State Bar. Since joining our law offices, Mr. Belden has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to client education and counseling.
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