Making sure the right people are in charge of your health is an important aspect of ensuring your future is secured in the way that you see fit. Establishing a valid power of attorney and drafting a living will can be vital 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 determine what provisions need to be put in place to protect their best interests and goals.
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 were to 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.
A living will may include the following information:
Life-Prolonging Medical Care – Your living will should have instructions on whether you want medical treatments that will prolong your life in the event that 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, you should 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 such an estate planning document needs to be updated regularly to ensure that 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 with others to explain end-of-life wishes. But 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? (ie., 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 rest assured 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 setting out your desires can help ensure your future interests are protected. 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.