can be used to plan for healthcare decisions in the event that an individual becomes incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves. However, these documents serve different purposes and have different effects.
A living will is a legal document that sets out an individual’s wishes regarding end-of-life medical treatment. It typically includes instructions for healthcare providers about what types of treatment the individual would like to receive or not receive in the event that they are terminally ill, permanently unconscious, or in a persistent vegetative state. A living will can also be used to specify the individual’s wishes regarding organ donation.
On the other hand, a durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows an individual to appoint someone else, usually a trusted family member or friend, to make healthcare decisions on their behalf in the event that they become incapacitated. This person is known as the “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.” The authority of the agent typically includes the power to make decisions about medical treatment, access medical records, and make decisions about the individual’s living arrangements.
It’s important to note that a living will only comes into effect when the individual is unable to make their own decisions, while a durable power of attorney is effective immediately. Additionally, a living will only deals with healthcare decisions, while a durable power of attorney can also give the agent the authority to make other types of decisions on the individual’s behalf, such as financial decisions. An attorney who specializes in elder law can help you understand the differences between these two documents and guide you in preparing them and making sure that they comply with the laws of your state.
A FEE-ONLY professional can help you understand changes in elder law and advise you on how to protect your legacy. The ElderLawAdviser.com’s network of FEE-ONLY financial advisers, CPAs and attorneys can help you review your will to protect your legacy and achieve your wishes. Simply Click Here to connect with a FEE-ONLY professional. Alternatively, visit 1800ADVISER.COM to browse biographies of individual advisers and choose one or more to connect with.