A living will gives your health care providers the instructions to withhold or withdraw any life-prolonging procedures or actions in certain situations. While there isn’t a legal requirement that a person must create a living will, if you have particular medical wishes, this may be important so that your wishes are carried out. If you choose to have a living will, make sure that someone close to you is aware of it and that a copy is filed safely somewhere.
The living will is an extension of the choices you have made for your life if you were still able to communicate your wishes. In the event that you cannot communicate your wishes, the living will (also known as an advanced directive) will be binding for your choices. Although there are various tools to help you think about and draft the basics for a living will, it is best to communicate with a licensed attorney to ensure that your advanced directive is in line with North Carolina law. It must be signed with two witnesses and a notary public or it is not valid.
Typical uses for an advanced directive are having an incurable or irreversible condition leading to death, becoming unconscious with a relatively low chance of coming out of that state, or suffering from advanced dementia that has resulted in substantive loss of cognitive ability. If you create an Advanced Directive, you will be able to align the treatment you want in response to these particular situations. Typical living wills will provide instructions about whether you want medical personnel to use life-prolonging measures and whether you want to receive artificial nutrition or hydration. Your document can also detail information about a health care agent you designate to override these decisions and whether you wish for you to have the rights to revoke the decision. Careful planning and evaluation of your wishes is an important part of this process.
The creation of a living will is a serious decision. Before coming to a conclusion, think about your wishes and consider conversations with family, friends, clergy, and even lawyers. Meek Law Firm has the experience to help you to articulate your desires in a living will to ensure that your wishes are carried out should the situation arise.
Call Meek Law Firm today at (704) 848-6335 or fill out the contact form to schedule a consultation.