Living Wills In The Making

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Wills are taboo to many as this document deals with life or death issues. But somehow in a stage of a human lifetime, there will soon be a day we all have to get through this crucial stage and move on.

A living will is a legal document that was prepared by an attorney produced only in deathbed considerations where a client unilaterally declares his/her desire that life-prolonging measures be discontinued when there is no hope of ultimate recovery. To enable such documents to be produced, all healthcare decisions of the patient must be assessed. That is where the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care was appointed to assist in the documentation of the the will and the will is available when the patient fills up the power of attorney form.

Certain conditions must be satisfied, importantly the client must be at least 18 years old and mentally competent at the time he/she executes either document but incompetent to participate in the decision-making process when either is implemented. If the client is incompetent, both documents can be applied.

Both documents are signed in front of two witnesses, including a notary public or a justice of the peace that could certify the client’s signature. This process is to indicate that the client is at least 18 years of age and signed the document voluntarily. The witnesses must not have any family ties with the client.

Living wills are helpful as a backup document when client enters a critical stage, the document can be used to set forth the desires of the client concerning his/her deathbed treatment that will be followed by attending physicians. The health care power of attorney controls conflicting events between living will and durable power of attorney. Copies of the living will will be circulated to the primary physician of the deceased client for medical records. Both documents are revocable through normal revocation procedures.

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