"My Family Knows What I Want."
I often I hear this from people as to the reason why they say they don’t need a health care Power of Attorney or a Living Will and are reluctant to do the most basic estate planning. Actually, in a lot of cases, you know what you want, your family members think that they know what you want, but not everyone agrees. As a result, we end up with situations where a person without a spouse has more than one child that needs to agree on health care decisions. Often, things do not go very well. I find it hard enough to get three people to agree with what to order on a pizza let alone something as important as medical decisions for their parents. Planning ahead will relieve family members of making stressful choices that often lead to disagreements and help ensure that your decisions are understood and followed.
A Living Will Speaks on Your Behalf
A Living Will is a document that expresses your directives in case you are incapacitated and unable to express your wishes regarding medical treatment. The Living Will comes into play at the time of being placed on life-support or given artificial nutrition after the doctors have said that you are not going to recover. If that point comes, many of my clients have told me that they do not want to be on the machines, while others say that they want to be kept alive for as long as possible; and yet others want the decision to be made by the person they have appointed as their Health Care Power of Attorney. Having a Living Will in place will let all those involved with your care know what to do when faced with end-of-life decisions.
But your directives are a conscience choice. Simply brushing it off and saying, “Oh, well my family knows what I want and will take care of it” often leads to unnecessary suffering and emotional burdens on members of the family. Therefore, it’s important that you have these advance directives in place.
Find Out More
To find out more about creating a Health Care Power of Attorney or a Living Will, please call our office. We have knowledgeable and caring staff that are here to help.