The Facts About Healthcare Directives

Jan 18, 2013  /  By: Barton P. Levine, Esq.  /  Category: Estate Planning, Healthcare, Living Wills

Healthcare directives, also known as Living Wills, list your wishes in terms of medical care and treatment. When you become unable to communicate or take care of yourself due to illness or incapacitation, your healthcare directive will go into effect. Any doctors or care takers overseeing your care are required by law to follow any instructions you place in your healthcare directive.

What Can I Include In My Healthcare Directive?

When you create a Living Will, you are able to leave instructions that include:

  • Who will oversee your care
  • What measures can be taken to keep you alive
  • Whether or not you want to use life-prolonging techniques
  • What a physician is required to do if you fall into a coma
  • What medications physicians can prescribe to you

What are the Benefits of Using a Living Will?

When you create a Living Will, you can rest assured that your healthcare will be carried out in the way you see fit. Without a Living Will, physicians overseeing your care will have the discretion to make medical decisions on your behalf – some of which you may have disagreed with.

You can create a Living Will at the same time you make your Will and Trust with an estate planning attorney. Make sure you consult your attorney on what care practices you should place in your Will to address all of your care needs if you ever become incapacitated later in life.

The Law Offices of Barton P. Levine is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.