Everyone has the right to control their own life, including the right to make one’s own medical decisions. Unfortunately, certain situations can make this impossible due to either physical or mental incapacity. Because these events can be sudden an unpredictable, it is important to prepare beforehand so that your wishes will be respected even if you cannot communicate them.
One way to retain control in case of a medical emergency is to have a Living Will. This document describes exactly what you want medical professionals to do, such as through a do not resuscitate order. Living Wills can cover a wide range of topics that help you to keep control in case of future catastrophe. A knowledgeable attorney could further explain Living Wills in Wake Forest and help you draft a document that accurately represents your desires.
A Living Will provides strict instructions for your future medical care. This document only goes into effect if a physical or mental condition leaves you unable to make an informed decision on your own. A central part of the medical treatment process is the idea of informed consent. A Living Will provides a patient’s informed consent or refusal ahead of time.
Anyone who has access to your Living Will can present it to a medical professional if necessary. That professional must then respect the language of that document. For this document to be binding, you must follow the requirements of North Carolina General Statute § 90-321, which also provides an example of a valid Living Will. An experienced lawyer at our Wake Forest office could provide further advice on crafting a specific and enforceable Living Will.
Living Wills are powerful legal documents that allow you to make medical decisions for the future. These documents are similar in some ways to Medical Powers of Attorney, but there are several important distinctions.
A Living Will keeps medical decisions entirely in your hands. Only the author can provide information about what medical treatment may be appropriate. By contrast, a Medical Power of Attorney gives this decision-making authority to another party. That party can make decisions on your behalf in the event of incapacitation.
In short, a Living Will provides specific instructions for medical providers, whereas a Power of Attorney gives a third party the authority to do what they believe is best. A seasoned attorney could further explain the differences between Livings Wills and Powers of Attorney in Wake Forest and help you decide which option best suits your needs.
Proper estate planning involves preparing for various scenarios, including a serious illness or injury that leaves you unable to make your own decisions. In these situations, having a valid Living Will can instruct medical professionals on your wishes even if you cannot communicate them yourself.
A Living Will grants you control over the future. Both medical professionals and family members must follow the terms of these documents. If you want to establish your medical wishes, speak with a dedicated lawyer at our firm about Living Wills in Wake Forest. Contact us today to set up a strategy meeting.