You may already have a will set up for the end of your life, but have you considered you may need a living will? Living wills are legal documents that specify what to do in the event that you are seriously injured or sick and become unable to make decisions for yourself. These documents are sometimes referred to as an advance healthcare directive. Here are five key facts to understand how they work.
Naming Someone to Act on Your Behalf
You can use your living will to designate another person to make important decisions for you. Most people choose a spouse or another trusted family member. It’s also possible to designate a healthcare agent to make decisions about your medical treatments if you become unable to do so. Some people opt to give this person broader power of attorney to make any legal decisions on their behalf.
The Details of Your Healthcare
In your living will, you can specify various details regarding your healthcare treatment. For example, many people choose to add specific directives regarding pain management.
Talk to Your Doctor
You should always discuss your living will with your doctor. When your physician is aware of your arrangement ahead of time, he or she can make better decisions about your care in a medical emergency.
It’s Not Written in Stone
You can always change the information provided in your living will. However, you will need to make sure that you legally revoke the previous document in order for the new draft to be effective. Remember, it’s important to review your documents to make any relevant updates. Changes depend on your life circumstances.
Who Needs a Living Will?
Anyone can benefit from a living will. Many people think they’re too young to need one, but the unfortunate reality is that a medical emergency can strike at any time. It’s simply the best way to ensure your treatment preferences are honored.
Your Living Will
Although it’s unpleasant to think about medical emergencies, it’s important to prepare for anything so your family won’t be left to make difficult emotional decisions under pressure.
If you’re interested in setting up a living will in the Bay Area, contact Lewman Law at (925) 447-1250. We can help you protect your family.