Sure no one wants to think about the inevitable but it’s a fact that we are all going to leave this earth at some point and time. There are so many different things that could happen to us that’s unexpected. We could end up having a terrible accident or even a fatal disease unexpectedly. Most individuals will discuss what their wishes are to someone, a friend, a family member or maybe even a doctor, but this doesn’t mean your wishes would be honored, if there came a time. That’s why it’s important to have a living will attorney draw up a living will.
A living will is a legal document that will protect your wishes, as well as, protect your loved ones from having to make difficult life and death decisions about your life should you become “permanently incapacitated.” Most individuals believe that you have to be a certain age to have a living will attorney draw up this document, but that’s not true. Life ending injuries or illnesses affect people at all different stages in their lives, so as long as you are considered an adult in your state, you can and should have a living will.
Each state has specific requirements for living wills and they are not effective in every type of situation. A living will attorney can help explain the requirements and will work with you so that you are in the driver’s seat of your care in the event that something unexpected happens. They will go over some general medical care questions such as:
$ Whether you want to be resuscitated if you go into cardiac arrest?
$ If you stop breathing on your own, should they put you on a ventilator?
$ If your condition requires a feeding tube to provide your body the nutrients it needs to stay alive, do you want that?
These are just a few of the types of decisions an advance directive, or living will, will describe.
A living will attorney can help ensure that what ever your wishes are, in the event that something unexpected or terminally renders you unable to speak for yourself, are carried out through your living will.
So whether or not you have spoke your wishes to anyone, other than a living will attorney, you would need to speak to an attorney in order to protect your wishes. Without the legal document you can only hope that they would be carried out.
Some individuals think that if they have put an agent as power of attorney that this is the same as a living will, it’s not. A medical power of attorney gives the agent the power to make medical decisions for you if you are found incompetent, not just “permanently incapacitated.” Also a power of attorney agent can’t deny treatment unless there is a living will. So you see there is a difference and is why it is so important that you talk with a living will attorney if you want your wishes followed.