Having a Last Will and Testament is an important document to have in the event of your death. Similarly, having a Living Will is another important document to have in the event that you become incapacitated.
A Living Will is your declaration as to your desire for a natural death. It conveys your wishes about treatment options to your physical person when you are alive but unable to convey them personally. Specifically, a Living Will lets your loved ones and medical providers know what life-prolonging procedures and methods you would like to receive or decline. These life-sustaining methods include things such as feeding tubes, IV's, CPR, or surgery. A Living Will is often referred to as an Advance Directive For a Natural Death.
A Living Will only takes effect when one of the following three events occur:
- You develop an incurable, terminal medical condition that will cause your death within a short period of time.
- You are unconscious and medical professionals determine you will likely not regain consciousness.
- You are diagnosed and suffer from advanced dementia or other loss of irreversible cognitive ability.
Like most legal documents, an attorney is able to customize a Living Will so it is tailored to represent your specific wishes. If you desire to appoint a person to make these decisions for you in the event that you are incapacitated, you can do that as well.
A Living Will is a type of durable power of attorney that remains legally binding in the event of your incapacity. For a Living Will to be valid and meet certain legal requirements. It must be signed while you are of sound mind, in the presence of two witnesses and notarized. However, a Living Will can be revoked or amended at any time, as long as you are of sound mind.
Don’t assume that your loved ones know your wishes and desires in the event something tragic happens. Get your wishes in writing in a Living Will. No one wants to think of an accident or unexpected illness occurring, but these things do happen, and it is critical to be prepared. Disputes and disagreement over medical treatments can arise among loved ones. By having your wishes clearly documented, you can save your family and loved ones the emotional turmoil involved in making these decisions.
Daren Gum is a knowledgeable attorney dedicated to ensuring your wishes are clearly conveyed in a Living Will. He understands the emotional and long-term implications involved in these delicate matters and is able to guide you in the process of creating a Living Will tailored to your personal desires. If you need a Living Will or need to update an existing one, contact Daren today for a consultation at (828) 329-3825.