If you were terminally ill and unable to communicate, would you want to receive life-prolonging medical care (like that provided by respirators and intravenous nutrition), or would you prefer that doctors just manage your pain instead? If an injury or illness left you incapacitated, under what circumstances would you want doctors to stop trying to save you? How many days, if any, would you want to remain on life support?
At the Piatchek Law Firm, our attorneys understand that these are not the easiest issues in the world to consider, let alone discuss. At the same time, the benefits of answering these questions yourself and making your wishes clear not only ensures that you receive the treatment you want, but also saves your loved ones from having to make difficult decisions. As part of our estate planning practice, we can help you draft a living will that clearly expresses your preferences.
What’s the difference between a living will and an advance health care directive?
Living wills and advance health care directives are two methods by which clients can convey their wishes about future health care. A living will is the simpler directive of the two documents and usually expresses medical care preferences in the event of a terminal illness. It is called a “living” will because it goes into effect while you are alive.
An advance health care directive essentially asks the following questions: “If you were near death and could receive treatments that may make you live longer, but would not actually cure you, would you want those treatments? Would you want your life to be prolonged, knowing you would never get better? These questions are very challenging for most people (and their families) to answer.
Generally, health care directives are slightly more complicated than living wills but give you greater flexibility in addressing various possible scenarios and circumstances. Creating either document is a step in the right direction. Each has the purpose of providing loved ones, physicians, and others with explicit directions about the kind of medical care you want to receive in the future and under what circumstances. Most importantly, both documents can provide you and your family with peace of mind.
Contact Us Today to Get Started
If you would like to discuss living wills, advance health care directives, or any other estate planning tool, call the Piatchek Law Firm at 417-882-5858 to set up an appointment. We offer free initial consultations, and we are available for evening and weekend appointments. We can also arrange a home visit if you are unable to travel to our offices.