Living Wills Lawyers in Cherry Hill, NJ Empowering Clients to Plan Future Healthcare Decisions
Most people never anticipate becoming severely ill, incapacitated, and unable to speak for themselves. However, accidents and serious illnesses can strike anyone unexpectedly. Unfortunately, many individuals in this position do not have any documentation that provides direction on the medical procedures they wish to receive or refuse.
When such situations occur, families may have to guess what care their loved one would want if they could make those decisions for themselves. In other instances, a court may intervene and make judgments based on what it believes is in the individual’s best interest.
However, one of the easiest ways to help your family avoid the guesswork is determining what treatment you wish to receive is to create a living will. Additionally, a living will can help to prevent a judge from assigning a guardian or conservator to oversee your affairs.
If you would like more information about living wills, contact the Bratton Law Group of Cherry Hill, N.J., to schedule a consultation with a qualified legal team member who can answer your questions.
Why is it Important to Have a Living Will?
A living will is an essential legal tool because it provides instructions on the desired medical care, they wish to receive in the event they become incapacitated. A living will not only gives details on medical treatments an individual wants but also communicates preferences about the care the person refuses.
One of the most significant advantages of a living will is that it can be utilized by medical professionals to ensure the care a person receives conforms to their wishes. Furthermore, a living will can spare close family members the guesswork of making challenging medical decisions on their own.
What is the Difference Between a Will and a Living Will?
Often people mistakenly use the terms “will” and “living will” synonymously. However, a last will and testament and a living will deal with two distinct areas of an individual’s life.
A last will and testament is a legal document specifying how an individual’s assets and property should be distributed after death. Conversely, a living will contains instructions on the type of medical care and treatments an individual wishes to receive or refuse should they become incapacitated.
Some other legal differences between a last will and testament and a living will include:
- A will becomes public knowledge after it is probated, whereas a living will remains private information.
- A will names an executor or personal representative to distribute assets after their death, but a living will names a healthcare proxy to make medical decisions for the individual should they become incapacitated.
- A will can make provisions for minor children, but a living will can make no such stipulations.
If you are still trying to understand the differences between a will and a living will, it is best to speak with a knowledgeable attorney who can explain the distinctions and answer your legal questions.
What Should I Include in a Living Will in New Jersey?
In a living will, you should state your medical preferences if any of the following situations occur:
- Your condition is terminal.
- You have been diagnosed with an irreversible or incurable condition that may cause you to lose your physical or mental faculties.
- You have lost total consciousness.
- Your medical condition has been deemed irreversible by more than one physician.
In addition, you may also state whether you want medical intervention that will prolong your life. If you do not wish to have medical intervention that prolongs your life, you can give specific instructions on how your care should be handled.
Finally, as an added measure of protection, you can appoint a medical proxy who can make decisions on your behalf should a situation arise that is not covered in your living will. However, the person you appoint to be your medical proxy should be someone you trust and who has your best interests in mind.
What Makes Your Law Firm the Best Choice to Help Me Create a Living Will?
The Bratton Law Group of Cherry Hill, N.J., is a law firm dedicated to assisting clients in planning for tomorrow. Sadly, many individuals wait too long and become incapacitated and unable to make medical decisions for themselves. In these cases, their families are left to try and guess and often agonize over what type of medical care their loved one would want to receive.
However, creating a living will provides your family peace of mind knowing that the medical care you ultimately receive aligns with your final wishes. Our qualified legal team has extensive experience creating living wills and would be honored to help you.
Contact the Bratton Law Group in Cherry Hill, N.J., at 856 644 4283 and ask to schedule a consultation to discuss your legal needs.