A Living Will, also known as an Advance Directive, is a document you create that gives direction to your family and health care professionals about the medical treatment and procedures you want under certain circumstances when you cannot make healthcare decisions for yourself. Your Living Will is part of your estate plan and will be drafted by your estate planning attorney.
Difference between a Medical Power of Attorney and a Living Will
With a Medical Power of Attorney, you give someone you trust the power to make medical decisions for you when you are unable to make them yourself.
With a Living Will, you are the one who gives instructions to medical personnel about what care you want if you become incapacitated. Your doctors must legally follow the instructions you have given in your valid Living Will. Family members cannot interfere and must accept the care you have requested.
To be valid in Texas, you must sign the document in the presence of two witnesses who also sign the document.
How a Living Will Works
A Living Will is generally used when the signor does not wish to be kept alive by artificial means when they are in a permanent vegetative state with no likelihood of recovering. Instead, the signor directs their medical care team to keep them hydrated and free of pain, but to allow them to die naturally without a feeding tube or life support. A Living Will is NOT a Do-Not-Resuscitate Order (“DNR”). A DNR is a document that is signed by either the principal or a medical agent to direct healthcare providers not to engage in cardiac resuscitation at end-of-life situations. Contact the Reecer Law Firm PLLC for Assistance
Creating a Living Will (Advance Directive) is complicated. There are many things to consider when you are instructing medical personnel about the treatment you do or do not want.
For assistance with this document, or any other aspect of your estate planning, contact our attorneys at The Reecer Law Firm, PLLC. You may also call (940) 382-3168.
Dena A. Reecer, principal and founder, has been Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2008 and has decades of experience in helping clients with preparing documents designed to carry out their final wishes.