March 26, 2020

Do I need a Living Will?

Everyone should have Advance Directives. Life-threatening health problems, accidents, and illnesses can happen to anyone at any time. Advance Directives help “direct” others to follow your wishes about the kinds of care you do and do not want when you cannot make decisions yourself.

So what are Advance Medical Directives?  They are written wishes about your future medical care. People usually just call them Advance Directives. There are two main types of directives:

  1. Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare

A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a document that names a person who will make medical decisions for you if you cannot make decisions for yourself.

  1. Living Will

If you cannot make decisions yourself, a Living Will tells your doctors and caregivers what you want. It keeps them from having to guess about your wishes.

 

Important! If you can make your own decisions, your doctors will ask you what you want even if you have Advance Directives. Advance Directives are only used if your health problems become so bad that you cannot make your own decisions.

It is generally a good idea to appoint more than one person and you can always put them in any order you choose. For example, a husband gives his spouse power of attorney upon finding out that he has a terminal disease or other concern. Then the spouse subsequently becomes incapacitated and is unable to care for their own affairs, let alone anyone else’s. Having more than one agent can make things easier if needed.

Setting up advance Directives can be as simple as choosing who you want to make medical decisions for you in the event you are not able. The fill out a “Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare” form.  You must have 2 witnesses of sound mind sign the document with you and make sure to date the form. You may want to have it notarized, but it is not required.

You may call our office at 870-207-7595 if you want to learn more about where to obtain these documents or we can mail or email them to you.

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