- A living will is a legal document which a person creates to let it be known how he or she would like to be treated with regards to life prolonging treatment. Living wills also go by the names “physician’s directive”, “health care directive” or ”advance directive”. Living wills are important because they give clear instructions of how a person would like medical treatment to be administered if they are not able to make a decision at that particular time.
- In the U.S, it is possible register your living will with the U.S. Living Will Registry. This can be done by filling a form or it can be registered online. Once it has been registered with this department, they will store it electronically, where it can be accessed if and when the need arises by those who have an authority to access it.
- The laws governing living wills vary from state to state, so it would be advisable to have a lawyer create it. Nowadays, attorneys offer living wills as a part of estate planning. The execution of a living will is carried out by a power of attorney governed by the laws which are discussed below.
Power of Attorney Law
A power of attorney is a document which empowers one person to act on the behalf of another on specific matters and circumstances laid out in the document. The person who creates a power of attorney is called the “grantor”. There are different types of power of attorney which are designed to suit specific situations. Here are a few of them:
General Power of Attorney
This is the most common power of attorney which will continue until the grantor becomes incapacitated unless specific provisions exist.
Durable Power of Attorney
Here the power of attorney continues when the grantor becomes incapacitated but ceases on the death of the grantor.
Health Care Power of Attorney
In this scenario, the power of attorney is restricted to how a person wants treatment to be administered when they are unable to make that request themselves due to ill health.
Springing Power of Attorney
This is a form where the power of attorney takes effect only under a given set of circumstances. For example, it may be given to family members of a person in the event of them becoming incapacitated.