Thursday, February 5, 2015

What is a Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney?

A living will is designed to do much more than divide your personal belongings amongst your closest friends and relatives. It is a way to make sure everyone knows what you want or do not want in terms of medical care in the event you are one day unable to speak up for yourself.

A living will is very similar to a medical power of attorney (POA), which is chosen by you personally ahead of time.

If you have ever had to make a critical medical decision for yourself you know that they are very hard to decide on. When someone is in a life threatening situation, it is even harder for family members to agree on what is best for the person. There is often tense disagreement and frustration when a decision cannot be mutually reached.

A living will allows you to clear up the disagreement by giving definite word on what you want for yourself. You may not be able to speak up for yourself and say what you do or do not want in the event you become extremely ill or get injured, but if there is a will already in place then there will be no mistaking exactly what you want done.

A couple things that are typically clarified in this type of document include a determination on whether you want CPR if your heart stops beating and whether you should be placed on life support or not if it is required. Both of these things are excruciating for family members to decide, but it becomes easier when they have your direct statement and know they are carrying out your wishes.

The selection of a medical power of attorney like a financial power of attorney is usually done along with the will. You select this person yourself and give them the right to speak on your behalf in medical situations, given you are unable to do so for yourself. Their word will be taken as your own.

The internet is very helpful researching the living will or medical power of attorney. You can even find free from that offer everything from the financial power of attorney to standard wills.
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