What is a "Living Will" and what is a "Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare"?
A living will and a durable power of attorney for healthcare allow you to choose someone you trust to make certain medical choices on your behalf if you become incapable of making decisions for yourself.
This person will be known as your healthcare agent. You must be at least 18 years old to create either document, and you must be of sound mind. Although there are similarities between the documents, there are also significant differences. In a living will a person makes specific provisions for deathbed decisions, such as whether life-prolonging measures should or should not be employed. This could include such measures as cardio resuscitation, food nourishment, or breathing assistance, among others. On the other hand, a durable power of attorney for healthcare covers all health care decisions and last as long as a person is incapable of making decisions for himself.
Both these documents are usually prepared together. Since a living will generally covers very specific issues like "DNR" (or "do not resuscitate"), it may not address other important medical concerns a person might have. For example, some people may want to refuse dialysis or blood transfusions. These matters can best be articulated in a healthcare power of attorney.
As stated above, you must designate a person who you trust to adhere to your directives in both a living will and a durable power of attorney for healthcare. Before making a final choice, you should sit down with the proposed person and assure yourself that he will strictly adhere to all your wishes. Only after you are convinced that he will carry out your wishes should you request for the documents to be drafted.
The signing of both documents must be witnessed by two persons, not to include your designated healthcare agent.
How much does a living will and a durable power of attorney for healthcare each cost?
The legal fee is $175 per document or $300 for both. Notary fees are extra. If you are over the age of 60, you may eligible to get a living will and durable power of attorney prepared for free under the grant for senior legal services. At this time, Attorney Thomas Fisher is the attorney retained to handle this program. You can reach him at 472-1131.
How can I get started with having a Living Will and a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare prepared?
Simply click on the "Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney " button and complete the worksheet. It is important that you fill the worksheet out completely. Once you have completed the worksheet, call my office at 472-8472 and set up an appointment for a consultation. The consultation fee is $75 for up to 30 minutes. Be sure to bring the worksheet with you. Without a worksheet, I will not be able to meet with you. >Click here to get started with a worksheet
This explanation sheet is provided for general information only and should not be interpreted as legal advice. You should discuss the specifics of your situation with a reputable attorney prior to taking any legal action. Neither this site nor anyone associated with this site shall be held liable for the use of the information contained in this document or for any decisions made based on the information provided herein.