Posternock Apell, PC attorneys can help you create your living will.
A living will is a written statement that spells out your wishes regarding medical treatment in the circumstances that you are not able to express informed consent. It becomes a legal document once it is signed in front of a witness.
Although you are not required to use a lawyer to prepare your health care directive documents, including a health care directive as part of your estate planning and discussing your options with a qualified lawyer can provide you with a better understanding of your options and ensure the document is executed properly.
Why do you need a living will?
The reality is that sometimes people find themselves seriously ill or injured and in need of assistance with medical decisions. In this case, it becomes extremely helpful for you and your loved ones if a living will, or advance directive, spelling out your wishes is in place. If you fail to do so, you run the risk of having these crucial decisions being placed in the hands of others at your most vulnerable moment. You also take the chance that family members won’t agree on treatment, leaving painful decisions to be made in a vacuum. Having a living will as part of a comprehensive estate plan can help to eliminate stress for both you and your loved ones during a trying time. It provides peace of mind for your loved ones to deal with difficult medical situations because they will know that they are following your wishes.
Plan for the future and gain peace of mind by drafting your living will.
In New Jersey, a living will is also known as an “instruction declaration.” It is a document that provides instructions about your future medical care. A living will lay out the specific types of medical treatment that you want in the future. It also specifies the kinds of medical treatment that you do not want. You can include additional information, such as contingency plans for particular kinds of medical treatment.
Keep in mind that medical professionals, as well as courts, must honor a living will. It is important to have this information laid out in a legal document so that there are no misunderstandings about what you meant and no disputes over your intentions. Please note that emergency medical personnel are not subject to living wills, but they are required by law to stabilize a patient once they are called.
You should not have to worry about your decision-making powers being unnecessarily taken out of your control. The living will becomes effective only when doctors have evaluated you and determined that you cannot make an informed medical decision on your own. In the worst cases, such as end-of-life care, a living will can ensure that the patient’s wishes are understood well in advance. This can make it easier for everyone – the patient, family members, other loved ones and doctors – to deal with a very difficult situation.
If you still want to maintain your privacy after drafting a living will, you can keep the contents of the document private. You do not have to share your living will, or reveal your wishes regarding future health care decisions, with anyone else. However, it is prudent to share them with your health care representative so they understand your wishes and are comfortable carrying them out.
Talk to our experienced New Jersey estate planning lawyers about creating your living will.
Our knowledgeable estate planning lawyers understand that these are very personal decisions and that your wishes regarding your own medical treatment deserve the utmost respect. That’s why we will take the time to go over all of the necessary documentation with you and make sure that you are fully aware of your legal options. Call us now to talk to one of our estate planning attorneys in Browns Mills or Moorestown, NJ, or Philadelphia, PA.