Elder Law: What is a Living Will?

Posted August 31st, 2016 by .

Categories: Family Law.

living will elder law anthony carboneIt happens to many of us – the older we get, the chance of becoming ill becomes greater. Some of us are lucky enough to get through the golden years with only a few ailments. Others not so lucky. If you do become sick, one of the legal matters that you may consider creating a living will.

What is a living will and how is it different from a normal will? This legal document, also sometimes referred to as an “advance directive” or a “health care directive,” the lets your family know what your wishes are for your end-of-live medical care. Unlike a regular will, which states where you want your property to go after your death, a living will can give guidance to your family members and health care professionals if something should happen that makes you unable to make decisions about your own care.

For instance, let’s say you’ve just been diagnosed with ALS, which is a nervous system disease that can weaken your muscles and impact your physical function. While you’re still feeling good, you create living will that states that no extraordinary measures should be administered to save your life, such as someone giving you CPR.

Living wills can also give someone the power of attorney over your health care decisions, known as a durable power of attorney, or DPOA. This person, sometimes referred to as the “agent” or “healthcare proxy,” will make sure your wishes are carried out when it comes to end-of-life treatment. Sometimes living wills allow those with the DPOA the power to make decisions about organ donation or an autopsy, but this is in rare cases.

If you are interested in creating a living will or need to create a power of attorney, our elder law attorney can help you. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.

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