Create a living will while you are still in good health.It’s hard to confront the possibility that something could happen to you that leaves you unable to communicate your wishes to loved ones, but what can be even more difficult to consider is that your spouse or children could be forced to make critical decisions about your healthcare without your input. You can spare them from this heart-wrenching situation—and make sure your own wishes are followed—by signing a living will and a healthcare power of attorney while you are healthy.

Make Your Wishes Known for Your Peace of Mind

In the emotional aftermath of an accident or medical emergency, your loved ones will probably want to do whatever it takes to save your life. However, if you know that you don’t want extreme measures to be taken to extend your life if there is no chance of recovery, you will need to have that desire legally documented ahead of time. A Louisiana living will declaration is a simple legal statement that documents your desire that your “dying shall not be artificially prolonged.” 

On the form, you will initial one of the following statements, depending on your wishes: 

  • That all life-sustaining procedures, including nutrition and hydration, be withheld or withdrawn so that food and water will not be administered invasively.
  • That life-sustaining procedures, except nutrition and hydration, be withheld or withdrawn so that food and water can be administered invasively.

The final decision will still be up to your family, but the living will can remove a significant burden. The living will can also provide additional instructions about end-of-life care, funeral and burial wishes, and more.

The second important document you should prepare now is a healthcare power of attorney. This document names an agent, usually a family member, to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. Having this document in place can prevent a court battle among relatives over what steps should be taken to treat you if you are incapacitated. It can not only save time but can prevent family conflict.

Make a Living Will Part of Your Comprehensive Estate Plan

When you work with the estate planning team at Scott | Vicknair Law, Estate & Probate Division, we will make sure your plan includes all of the necessary documents to protect your assets and your family in the case of a medical emergency, or after your passing. Call us today to discuss the steps you should take to get started designing your Louisiana estate plan.

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