Nobody wants to think about their last days on earth. However, legal experts in Oregon and around the nation recommend that people take on this very difficult subject for the sake of their family and their own health. Even if you don’t want to sit down and craft an entire estate plan, you should at least create a living will that names a durable power of attorney to ensure that your health care wishes are legally taken care of.
What exactly is a living will?
Planning your estate is a great to way to provide for your loved ones after you pass away. An estate plan can provide clear directions on how your assets should be distributed. But what about if you become incapacitated? Who will make medical decisions on your behalf?
When you are unable to make health care decisions on your own, a living will can come into play. A living will provides directions to your attorney regarding what can and cannot be done if you’re incapacitated. Some of those items include:
- Life-prolonging medical care
- Do not resuscitate orders
- Pain management decisions
Power of attorney
As stated above, there are certain scenarios where you might need to rely on someone else to handle your medical decisions for you. All that begins and ends with a power of attorney.
A common misconception regarding this designation is that your chosen power of attorney will have absolute control over your life. However, they can have as little or as much power as you wish. They are simply there to act on your behalf and nothing more. Some of the powers you may want to designate include:
- Who your doctor should be
- What medication can be provided to you
- Who can visit you in the hospital
A living will is incredibly important to have established before you should ever need. Having an attorney present when you write your will can help ensure that your wishes are legally documented and accurately represent your wishes.