When a “will” is brought up in a legal discussion, everyone’s mind often jumps to a “last will and testament”. Probably followed by arguments over any kind of inheritance. But we’re here to talk about a different kind of will today.
A Living Will outlines medical decisions that need to be made for you when you can no longer make them. A DNR (do not resuscitate), for example, is not a call you’re in the position to make. A Living Will covers quality of life, end of life, and other specific decisions that you need someone to make for you. They need to be outlined prior, though, which is the key difference between a Living Will and our next item.
Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney
A Living Will is only as good as what you can plan for. For everything else that you didn’t know would happen, there is a Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney. This basically just entrusts the reins to someone when you can no longer make those decisions. This person should ideally have your best interests at heart and you’ll likely want to have a meeting with them at some point. Outlining what you would like for them to do and making sure you’re on the same page is imperative. It’s important to note that your living will cannot be contradicted by somebody with Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney.
Who To Trust?
Giving someone this Power of Attorney is a pretty big deal. How do you know who has your best interests at heart? Usually, family members are chosen for this. Perhaps a significant other or your child. There are times where it’s the best call to make a lawyer or financial advisor your agent, but be aware they may charge a fee. There is also the concern of your chosen agent having passed away or being unable to perform the duties. It may be wise to assign a second one, for those “just in case” situations.
At the end of the day, both Power of Attorney and a Living Will are important parts of your plan. While they do overlap in some case, they differ in others and I would recommend having both. At Post Falls Law, we’re happy to offer our advice and/or services when it comes to either of these matters. We always have our clients’ best interests at heart, and you’ll find great times here.