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What is a living will?

The last thing a Rochester area resident wants to think about is what would happen if they become incapacitated. But for many people this is a reality. A living will is an estate planning document that lets loved ones know valuable medical information.

A living will is better known as a health care directive. It is a document that lets a person's family members and medical professionals know what to do in case they become incapacitated. If a person becomes unable to communicate what medical interventions they want, the living will can help their family members make decisions on their behalf. Living wills often cover if a person would want artificial breathing support, tube feeding, organ donation or resuscitation. A person can choose to have every medical option available or can pick and choose which intervention they would want. It is important for a person to remember that a living will does not go into effect until a person is determined to be in a permanent vegetative state or terminally ill.

Everyone can benefit from having a living will created. An attorney who specializes in estate planning can help their client draft a living will and explain all of the complicated medical terms. They can explain the treatment options and help their clients make decisions that they are comfortable with. A living will can offer a person peace of mind that their wishes will be followed in the event that they are no longer able to communicate.

Of course no one wants to think about what would happen to them as they approach the end of their life. A living will is an important document that can ensure a person's medical wishes are honored.

Source: findlaw.com, "Living wills: Introduction", accessed on Dec. 29, 2016

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Weinstein & Randisi - estate planning

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