Living Wills Denver CO
Life Support, Advanced Directives Using a Living Will
A living will is a legal document used to make your wishes known in regards to prolonging certain medical treatment. People sometimes confuse a living will with a last will and testament or think it’s similar to a pour over will, which is generally used with a living trust. Your living will only comes into play if you are unable to state what medical treatment you want to have AND you are in a terminal condition (your condition is incurable or irreversible) or a persistent vegetative state (generally thought of as brain dead). A persistent vegetative state is defined in the law by reference to the criteria and definitions used by the prevailing medical community standards of practice.
When you complete this document, you tell your doctor what life sustaining treatments you do and don’t want and for what period of time. The directions include whether you want to be given food and water. No action will be taken under your living will until two physicians certify that you are either suffering from a terminal illness or in a persistent vegetative state.
Deciding the types of treatment you do and don’t want are difficult questions to answer. It’s important to give these decisions the time and consideration necessary to figure out what you really want to happen. It can be quite helpful to discuss these issues with your doctor and get his/her thoughts on end of life care to help you understand the kinds of end of life medical treatments you may want to have. It’s also important to clearly put your decisions in writing and to share that information with your doctor and health care power of attorney.
If you have a living will in place and something bad does happen, your loved ones will know your wishes and your doctor will have the power to execute your wishes. Having a lawyer prepare a living will for you ensures that your wishes are accurately described if you become incapacitated and that the burden is not on your family to try and determine what you might want.
Call our Denver CO living will attorney today at 303-562-5973, and I’ll be happy to meet with you for a complimentary consultation to answer your questions on living wills, powers of attorney, and any other end of life planning issues you may have.