Due to precautions related to COVID-19, we have expanded our options for remote document signings and free consultations. Please contact our office to discuss whether a full phone consultation or video conference is appropriate for your situation.

What are the four key areas that a living will can address?

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2021 | Estate Planning |

Having a comprehensive estate plan is something that every Kentucky resident should consider regardless of their age, health, family and financial situation. It is a way to ensure that they are protecting not just their loved ones, but also themselves. Most people are aware of what wills can do as part of an estate plan. However, there are other aspects of estate planning that they might not be wholly familiar with. One is having a living will.

With a living will, the person can have specific instructions regarding healthcare

A living will grants a person the right to say beforehand what they want and do not want done in terms of medical treatment if they are unable to specifically state it at the time. There are four fundamental areas the living will covers. The person can name another person to be their health care surrogate; can dictate whether there will be life prolonging treatments if they are necessary to keep him or her alive; allow or refuse to be given a tube for feeding or hydration; and state whether organs should be donated after death.

Anyone 18 or older can have a living will. When selecting a health care surrogate, it can be anyone. Most people will select a relative or good friend. The living will is a significant responsibility, so it is advisable to pick someone who will take it seriously and is aware of what the person wants. It can also be useful to have a backup person who can also serve as the surrogate in case the first person is unavailable. The living will can be revoked if the person has the capacity to do so. It must be signed and dated. It can also be done orally if two adults are present with one being a health care provider. The document can be destroyed as a method of revocation.

Knowing the legal ramifications and procedures for a living will is vital

Before creating a living will, it is imperative to understand what it means and how it impacts a person’s care and treatment should they become incapacitated. A benefit is that it provides clarity in the unfortunate event that a person is too ill to express their own wishes on these matters. When considering estate planning and all it entails, it is wise to know how a living will is structured, what it does and if it is applicable for a person’s beliefs and situation. Having experienced assistance can be useful from the outset.