Making sure the right people are in charge of your health is an important aspect of securing your future in the way that you see fit. Establishing a valid power of attorney and drafting a living will is vital. You need them in the event you are suddenly unable to make these decisions on your own. The Nashville living will lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC can help those living in Nashville, Springfield, and throughout Middle Tennessee. We’ll help you determine what provisions need to be put in place to protect your best interests.
The Basics of a Living Will
A living will is a legal document that gives instructions on what to do and not to do if you become incapacitated and are unable to make these decisions. For example, if you get into an accident that causes a brain injury and are unable to make the most basic of decisions, you will need someone to make emergency health care decisions on your behalf.
What Can Go Into a Living Will
A living will can and should include the following information:
Life-Prolonging Medical Care – Your living will should have instructions on whether you want certain medical treatments. This includes ones that will prolong your life if your life is near its end. For example, you need to be put on a respirator to help you breathe. This also includes the administration of food and water to help you survive.
Do Not Resuscitate – If you are near the end of your life and you stop breathing, what happens next? If you wish not to be resuscitated in an effort to prolong your life, put this information in your living will. It is also advisable to let your doctor or hospital know of your wishes.
Palliative Care – Also known as comfort care or pain management, you can specify in your living will that you wish to be comfortable and free of pain until you pass away. So although the doctors will not prolong your medical treatment, they will provide the necessary medication to keep you pain-free.
It is important to note that in May 2017, the Advance Directive for Health Care forms combined the content of the “Living Will” or “Advance Care Plan” and “Medical Power of Attorney” or “Appointment of Health Care Agent” into one model form adopted by the Board for Licensing Health Care Facilities.
This is why you need to update such an estate planning document regularly to ensure all elements are accounted for, or, if multiple exist, are not contradictory.
What to Consider When Drafting Your Living Will
Nobody wants to think of a time when they cannot care for themselves or communicate their end-of-life wishes. Knowing your options in the creation of your Tennessee living will may make the transition easier.
But remember, these wishes are not black and white. This is why you need to consider the following when creating your living will.
Do you want to receive treatment if there is a cure available for your ailment?
Under what situations would you feel your life was not worth living? (i.e., lack of independence, dependency on life support and other intrusive health measures, etc.)
You will also want to include information on organ donation, as sometimes the lack of written consent will overrule other intentions.
Do I Need a Living Will?
Many people believe that if they are young and healthy, a living will is not necessary. However, a living will is necessary for all adults, as well as mature and emancipated minors. Life can lead us to unexpected moments, including serious accidents or illnesses. If you are left incapable of making your own health care decisions, you’ll want to know that your life wishes are met.
Our Nashville Living Will Lawyers are Ready to Help
Trusting someone to make decisions for you in your place is no easy matter. Careful and detailed planning can help protect your future interests. The Nashville living will lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC can advise you on how to get your wishes across and help you select the correct person to be your power of attorney. We can then help devise appropriate instruments and documents to achieve those objectives.