A living will is an advance directive containing legal instructions regarding end-of-life care. Advance directives guide decisions for caregivers and doctors should you become seriously injured, terminally ill, or otherwise unable to make decisions for yourself. Planning ahead will ensure you receive the medical care you desire while relieving a burden from your caregivers during times of crisis. Below, Bronx estate attorney Stephen B. Kaufman, P.C., outlines a few benefits of drafting a living will.
What Does a Living Will Do?
Whereas a conventional will describes your dying wishes regarding asset distribution following your death, a living will outlines your living wishes about personal care. There are a number of reasons you may need your living wishes documented. There may come a day when you are unable to speak on your own behalf. For instance, should you fall into a coma or suffer from severe dementia, you may be alive but unable to enter into a legal contract.
In the absence of an advance directive, your friends and family members will be forced to make difficult decisions regarding your best interests without your input. Drafting a living will provides you a voice during end-of-life discussions, allowing you to specify the care and treatments you prefer and how to handle decisions relating to your fate.
What Does a Living Will Include?
Your living will should address a variety of care decisions, including those pertaining to mechanical ventilation, tube feeding, dialysis, medications, palliative care, and organ and tissue donation.
DNR & DNI Orders
You do not need a living will to have DNR (do not resuscitate) and DNI (do not intubate) orders. These preferences can be communicated to your physician who can document the orders and place them in your medical record. If you have an advance directive, however, make sure to mention whether you have a DNI or DNR order on file.
If you would like a living will drafted in the Bronx area, estate attorney Stephen B. Kaufman, P.C., is the attorney to call. Backed by more than 40 years of legal experience, he focuses on a broad range of areas, including estate planning, personal injury, and real estate law. Visit his website to learn more, or call (718) 822-0500 to speak with a qualified estate attorney.