It’s a common misperception that a living will is related to a last will and testament. In reality, it addresses unrelated issues and provides an important service when the unexpected occurs. According to attorney Steve Butcher Sr. of Rochester, NY, a living will is just as important as a last will, trust, or estate plan and shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s an essential part of your wishes and can have a significant impact on your health.
The primary purpose of a living will—also known as an advance directive— is to address end-of-life medical care. Should your become incapacitated, details outlined in a living will let your family and healthcare professionals know what kind of treatment you would or wouldn’t like to receive. This is most famously demonstrated in cases involving removing life support.
Other primary topics of living wills include the decision to accept or decline palliative care, life-prolonging medical care, such as surgeries, CPR, and blood transfusions, as well as involuntary food and water administration during complete incapacitation. Like wills, living wills have to be created with a lawyer, but they must also meet state requirements. Not filing correctly can lead to it being revoked.
Living wills also avoid disputes by including a durable power of attorney appointment. The attorney-in-fact, who is usually the one who created the living will for the client, is given the power to enforce the will’s instructions in matters regarding health care. This is to ensure that there are no outside interferences or disputes about the will owner’s wishes. This is an important distinction. In complex medical scenarios, it can be very difficult for family members to make decisions, and disputes can eventually end up in the courtroom.
It’s never too early to create a living will and Steve Butcher Sr. can help. He has extensive experience with life-planning services and offers the knowledge needed to help you make the right decision. Call (585) 263-2444 today to schedule a consultation and visit his website and Facebook to learn more about his practice.