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How a living will can protect loved ones

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2015 | Estate Planning |

California natives may not know that filing a living will can protect their medical rights in the event that they require artificial life support to live. A living will, or advance directive, outlines an individual’s life support wishes, such as whether they want to be resuscitated or whether they would like life support to continue to keep them alive. It also prevents family members from being forced to make these important decisions on the individual’s behalf. Often, it can be extremely uncomfortable for a loved one to guess what an individual would want in a medical situation. A family member may have to decide whether to prolong that person’s life or not to let them go.

Filing a living will is beneficial because it causes a person to think about what they would want in a medical situation and make that decision before they are incapacitated. Regardless of age, a person should indicate what their end-of-life wishes are and whom they would prefer to make decisions on their behalf.

When creating the advance directive, a friend or family member can be appointed as a health care proxy who is legally entitled to express a person’s wishes. Without designating a proxy, a spouse or parent is not legally entitled to inform medical professionals about a patient’s medial preferences without a court order.

In the event of an accident causing damage that is so severe in nature that the patient requires life support, two physicians have to conclude that the patient will not recover prior to the living will coming into effect. Many people prefer to hire an attorney to draw up wills to ensure complete accuracy. This could help the individual be as thorough as possible when determining their end-of-life wishes.