Preparing a Living Will
When are living wills utilized?
You may have experienced a situation where a terminally ill friend or relative and has fallen into a state of unconsciousness. The medical personnel kept the person alive with respirators and intravenous feeding. You may have wondered if whether the friend would have chosen to keep the treatment going. Unfortunately the person now was unable to communicate. Relatives did do not want to take responsibility for letting the person die and so the treatment continued for weeks until finally the inevitable occurred.
You can prevent this scenario from occurring to yourself with a living will. In California, the living will has been incorporated by law into a document called an advance health care directive. When you fill out this document and give it to your relatives, you have done yourself and them a favor. They will be able to make medical decisions on your behalf knowing they are carrying out your wishes.
Advance Health Care Directive
The advance health care directive is a set of written instructions that a person can create specify what actions should be taken for their health in the even that they are no longer able to make their own decisions. In this document, you may do the following:
- State your wishes concerning whether to accept or decline life-sustaining care in any situation where you are not able to make your own decisions. It is not limited to situations where you are in a coma or terminally ill.
- You may elect an agent to make decisions for you if you are unable. The agent must follow your instructions. If you are able to make decisions, the agent has no authority.
- By law the agent cannot authorize electroconvulsive therapy, psychosurgery, sterilization, abortion or placement in a mental institution.
- You can revoke the document at any time.
- You can authorize organ donations or tissue donations in the document.
Experts in the legal and healthcare communities resoundingly agree about the importance of creating a living will, or advance health care directive. Living wills have been supported by virtually every state in the union, including California, as a proactive measure that can ensure that your wishes are fulfilled. If you wish to learn more about living wills, our Orange County estate planning attorneys are prepared to provide you with all of the information you need, as well as the assistance in creating a legally valid and precise advance health care directive.
Estate Planning Lawyer in Orange County
At Watkins, Blakely & Torgerson, LLP, we help clients throughout Orange County, California understand and create their own advance health care directive. We have found that clients take pride in making these advance medical care decisions and that they have peace of mind for themselves and their loved ones should these unforeseen medical events happen in the future. We have also observed that when a medical situation does occur, the family is relieved at not having to shoulder these decisions alone. Contact Watkins, Blakely & Torgerson, LLP to learn more about the ways in which we can be of assistance.