A health care directive, or living will, is a legal document providing specific instructions regarding your medical treatment in the event you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. Everyone should have a health care directive/living will on record because life happens unexpectedly. A living will is not just for the aged or terminally ill. Many people are involved in accidents and these advance directives allow you to get the medical care you want and avoid any interventions you wish to avoid.
Segal Duffek Moen PLLC advises those constructing a living will to review their values and be as specific as possible concerning their wishes. Specific guidance leaves little room for questions when the time comes to make decisions about your care and wishes. Some people wish to establish a health care surrogate in their living will. This person is appointed as a legal agent for the incapacitated person, empowered to make health care decisions that may not be addressed in the health care directive/living will.
What Should I Include in a Living Will/Health Care Directive?
When you sit down with a Minnesota estate planning attorney from Segal Duffek Moen PLLC to craft a living will/health care directive, you will be asked to reflect on what aspects of your quality of life are non-negotiable. This will help you decide the circumstances under which you would want or not want medical treatments that would extend your life.
Some medical treatments that are designed to prolong life can include:
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Blood transfusions
- Intravenous food and water
You may be open to these or other kinds of treatments under all circumstances. You may only be open to these treatments under certain circumstances. You may wish to forego life-sustaining treatments and opt for palliative care to reduce possible pain and suffering. These are the issues you need to address and decide beforehand so they can be legally recorded in your living will/health care directive.
Other issues some people include in a living will are organ donation instructions and burial/cremation wishes.
Establishing a Health Care Directive/Living Will in Minnesota
Establishing a health care directive/living will in Minnesota records your wishes in a legally binding matter before important medical care questions arise in a time of crisis. This provides your family and loved ones with the comfort of knowing your wishes, relieving them of difficult questions regarding your care. There is no guesswork involved and all doubt is removed, preventing many possible disagreements.
In the event you are incapacitated and no longer able to communicate your wishes, a legal directive is in place that allows your loved ones the freedom to grieve, heal and support each other. This takes a huge burden away from your loved ones.
Call Segal Duffek Moen PLLC in Minneapolis today to schedule a consultation with one of our estate planning attorneys and discuss your health care directive/living will.