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Why Delaying a Living Will is a Huge Mistake



We don't like to think about when a living will is needed, but pretending it will never be necessary can have drastic consequences. It's important not to stick your head in the sand. Most people who wind up terminally ill or unconscious in a hospital thought it would never happen to them. However, none of us are immune to having an unfortunate event occur that prevents us from being able to communicate. If it does happen, you will want to have some control over the medical treatment you receive, and a having a living will form is the only way to ensure that. It's also unfair to burden your family and loved ones with having to make difficult decisions without your guidance.

A medical power of attorney can appoint a healthcare proxy to make decisions regarding your medical treatment when you are unable to do so yourself. The health care proxy is obligated to follow the instructions and preferences in an advance health care directive. Living will forms are governed by state laws, which vary by state. Many states allow a template for living will to include a medical power of attorney that appoints a healthcare proxy. The health care proxy is the agent appointed in living wills or a medical power of attorney to make medical decisions for you when you can't speak for yourself.

The term advance directives can cover a variety of forms, when used in the context of medical care, such as living will, medical power of attorney, DNR, anatomical donation, etc. Living wills are advance heath care directives, but not all advance health directives are living wills.

There is much confusion about the difference between a will vs living will. However, they are quite different. Living wills take effect while you're still alive and deal with your preferences for medical treatment. A last will only takes effect when you die and deals with distributing the property in your estate. Both are essential documents to have in your legal life file.

It's important to prepare an advance health care directive according to the laws of your own state. US Legal Forms has a professionally drafted, state-specific template for living will and other advance directives that are regularly updated to comply with state law.


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