Things you should know about working with living will attorneys

by the Editor, SeniorInsider | Jun 02, 2011

Living will attorneys can be an invaluable asset when you are attempting to get all your senior affairs in order. While few of us jump at the chance to prepare a regular will or a living will, these are all necessary parts of retirement planning.

According to an AARP survey, 40% of Americans who are over the age of 45 have not made a will of any kind, and are prime candidates for a visit with living will attorneys. Bear in mind that creating a living will is actually one of the most critical things you can do to protect your loved ones against having to make tough decisions about your healthcare, should the need arise.  

And yet, few decisions are more personal. After all, as living will attorneys will tell you, preparing a valid living will involves both your health—and your death. While some individuals want their life to be prolonged by absolutely any means necessary, others may want to experience a more “natural” death, having certain medical treatments and procedures withheld. Living will attorneys understand the complexity of these decisions, however a living will or advance health care directive allows your family, medical providers and caregivers to be fully aware of your wishes should you be unable to speak for yourself.  You can also choose to prepare a durable power of attorney, which names a person whom you are giving legal authority to speak for you, should you become incapacitated.

Are Living Will Attorneys Necessary?

With the vast resources that can be found on the Internet, you may wonder if living will attorneys are strictly necessary, or if you could just as easily go on your computer and create your own living will online. A good advance directive will thoroughly describe the type of treatment you are willing to receive, depending on how sick you are. For example, if you have an illness you are not likely to recover from, or if you should become permanently unconsciously or comatose, then what measures do you want doctors to take to maintain your life?

Will you incorporate a do not resuscitate (DNR) directive into your living will? A DNR states that you choose not to have CPR should your heart stop or you cease to breath. Unless you have a specific DNR in your living will, hospital personnel will attempt to re-start your heart or aid you in breathing.  

Rather than hire living will attorneys you could have your doctor provide a basic form that only requires you to fill in the blanks. You can also hand-write your specific wishes down on paper. Alternately, you can use the living will attorneys service at a site such as that has the necessary forms. It only takes a few minutes to fill the forms out and a paralegal will review them before shipping them out to you.

Your advance directive or living will does not necessarily have to be complex and full of legalese, but can be written in short, unassuming statements about what you do or don’t want done should you be unable to speak for yourself. The only variable is that you must follow your state’s laws. Either way, having a living will on file is critical, most especially if you have a terminal illness.

The Advantages of Living Will Attorneys

Living will attorneys have one distinct advantage over creating your own living will, and that lies in the fact that the laws surrounding advance directives and living wills vary greatly from state to state. Living will attorneys in your specific state will have the necessary knowledge required to ensure your living will is legal and valid. Because an advance directive should include when you would want life sustaining treatments, the type of life-sustaining treatments you would want, your organ donation instructions, pain control preferences, and where you want to be cared for (home or nursing facility) this document is important enough to take advantage of a living will attorney’s expertise.



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