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What You Can Include in Your Living Will

Daryll Pomey Orat - Sunday, October 05, 2014

Also known as an advance healthcare directive or healthcare directive, a living will is a legal document, that will contain your wishes about the kind of health care that you want to receive if you are ever seriously ill, or incapacitated, or in any position where you cannot express your wishes about your medical care.

Often, a living will is combined with a power of attorney for health care that specifically names a person to make decisions about your medical care on your behalf, when you are no longer able to do so. A living will is different from the kind of will that you make to define who will receive your assets, including your property, your retirement funds, and all of your other assets after you. However, you can get a living will made by consulting with a Los Angeles estate planning lawyer at the same time that you discuss drafting your will. In other words, talking about end-of-life care or medical decisions on your behalf when you are incapacitated, is something that you must take special interest in and give careful thought to, just as you would give careful thought to the distribution of assets.

Your living will should include all of your wishes for medical care. You can stipulate that you would like certain types of care to be used in the event that such care is required. For instance, you can instruct in your will that you continue to be placed on a ventilator for as long as necessary. You can otherwise mention in your will that you are never to be placed on an artificial ventilator, if such a need should arise.

You can also deliver more specific instructions about the kind of medical care that you get, including the kind of diagnostic tests that are performed, blood transfusions, dialysis and the use of a respirator. If there are certain surgeries that you do not want performed, mention that in your will. You can also make clear whether you want CPR performed on you, or certain drugs to be administered to you in such a state.

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