A living will should not be confused with the traditional last will and testament, although both should be present and effective at the time of a testator’s death. Living wills express a person’s wishes relating to their medical care should they become incapacitated.
A living will is also known by another name: the advanced health care directive. A living will is a legal document, signed by witnesses and notarized, that goes into effect when doctors believe death is imminent or when the creator of the will is unable to speak for his or herself due to illness or injury.
Ensuring Your Wishes Are Upheld
Most people have preferences for the type of lifesaving treatments they would like to have employed in the event of a catastrophic event or illness. Some would rather be comfortable in their last days, without too much pain but without invasive treatments. Life support and its continuation or removal, for example, is an important issue often addressed as one of the directives of a living will. When drafting a living will, it is important to make sure any and all relevant information is unambiguously covered in the document. Living wills are not just for older individuals. They are vital documents for people of any age, due to the unpredictable nature of our lives.
Most living wills contain information about medical conditions and are replete with medical terminology. To understand what the terminology means, seek the expertise of a trusted doctor and an experienced estate planning attorney. Also be assured that a living will may be reassessment and changed should your wishes evolve over time.
Helping Individual and Families Through Difficult Decisions
I have the necessary expertise to help you create a living will that reflects your wishes should you become unable to give instructions on your own. This is a difficult thing to contemplate and a difficult thing to do. You will be fully informed of what your living will means, what it accomplishes and how it must be worded to ensure your wishes are carried out. Together we can plan what feels right for you.
My law firm focuses on your family. Contact me at my Vienna, Virginia, law office to discuss your case. I am always happy to speak with you.