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Living Wills in Raleigh

When most people think about Wills, they imagine a document that will provide instructions for after their death. However, certain types of Wills can also impact a person during their life.

Living Wills in Raleigh can provide instructions for essential medical decisions if a person is unable to make these decisions themselves. This document has complete authority to direct doctors on what treatments are appropriate. To be prepared for any circumstances, speak with an experienced attorney about Living Wills and discuss whether this option is right for your estate plan.

What is a Living Will?

A Living Will provides instructions for a person’s future medical care. This can include:

  • Preferred courses of treatment
  • Whether to use experimental treatment
  • Whether to remain on life support
  • Instructions on hospice care

North Carolina General Statute § 90-321 provides an outline for a legally-binding Living Will. However, every person’s wishes are unique. A skilled attorney can help to craft a Living Will that suits the particular goals of a Raleigh resident.

When does a Living Will Take Effect?

Importantly, these documents only have a legal effect if a person is incapacitated and unable to make their own medical decisions. As a result, many people who hold Living Wills may never need to use them. However, the purpose of a Living Will is to ensure that a person’s medical wishes are respected should they be unable to provide instructions to doctors. A doctor, hospital, or other medical facility that receives a valid Living Will must follow its instructions.

As a result, it is essential to ensure that family members or other trusted individuals retain control over these documents. Family members or other parties must present this document as the testator wishes.

Living Wills vs. Medical Powers of Attorney

A Living Will provides specific instructions for healthcare workers if the testator is incapacitated and unable to communicate their wishes. By contrast, a Medical Power of Attorney gives a specific person the right to make medical decisions on behalf of the subject.

This distinction is an important one. A person holding Medical Power of Attorney has the right to choose what treatment they believe is best. On the other hand, a Living Will does not provide this flexibility. As such, a Living Will may be appropriate for those who know exactly what they want to be done in specific situations.

Individuals should only grant Medical Power of Attorney to trustworthy parties who will act in their best interests. An experienced lawyer can help Raleigh residents determine which of these estate planning tools is best for their situation.

Meet with a Lawyer to Discuss Living Wills in Raleigh

The ability to choose which medical care you receive is a fundamental human right. However, a serious illness or injury could leave you unable to communicate your wishes. In these scenarios, having a Living Will can be crucial.

A proper Living Will instructs your family members and medical personnel on your wishes for medical care. This can include directions for life support, experimental treatment, or long-term nursing care. Any medical provider who receives your Living Will must follow your directions. To learn more about Living Wills in Raleigh, contact our dedicated legal team today.