Is your Advanced Directive still valid now that you’re pregnant?
Women CEOs anticipating a future pregnancy work with me to create contingency plans that prepare their business and personal life for their new arrival.
It wasn’t until working with a new client that I learned that not all advance directives/living wills are valid during pregnancy.
Your advance directive comes into play when your designee needs to make medical or healthcare decisions because you are too ill or incapacitated to do so for yourself.
During pregnancy, state laws may affect your healthcare directive.
State laws fall into three categories:
No Effect = The law in your state does not allow your document directing health care to take effect when you are pregnant.
To Term = The law in your state will not allow your document directing health care to take effect if you are pregnant and your doctors believe the fetus could be brought to Term while you are receiving life-sustaining treatment.
No Statute = Your state has no law prohibiting the withdrawal of life support if you are pregnant.
Of course, this is a scenario that no one wants to consider. Yet, with the help of a qualified estate attorney, it’s valuable information for everyone involved to understand.
This is an excellent example of how estate plans are not “set it and forget it.”
Keep open lines of communication with your estate attorney. Remember to check in to talk about planned and unplanned life events.
What’s on the horizon in your personal life or business that may impact your contingency or estate plan?
Check out this article from Nolo for more details on your state’s laws.