Planning for the future is important for everyone. While you might know that it’s important to make a last will and testament, you may not know how important it is to also write down your wishes for medical treatment. You can create a legally binding document that details what medical care you want in the event that you’re unable to communicate your wishes. Making a living will keeps you in control. Here’s what you need to know about protecting your wishes with a living will:
How do I go about protecting my wishes with a living will?
A document that details what you want to happen with your medical care if you can’t take care of yourself is called a living will. Even though it’s called a will, it has to do with your wishes while you’re living. A living will writes down what medical care you’re okay with in the event that you’re unable to communicate your wishes. Generally, it states whether you want life-saving efforts like CPR and hydration or you don’t want those efforts. With a living will, you can decide what medical care you want ahead of time so that you can have your wishes followed if you’re incapacitated.
What are the rules for a living will?
Your living will has whatever rules you want to have. Your living will can state that you want all life-saving efforts, or it can state that you don’t want life-saving efforts. It’s up to you what you put in your living will. You can make your living will as general or specific as you’re looking for.
When you make a living will in North Carolina, you need to comply with a few things to make it effective under the law. Once you comply with North Carolina’s rules to make a living will, what you put in it is up to you. A living will makes it clear what you want to happen with your medical care, so you get to decide what you put in it.
How do you make a living will?
To make a living will, you list out how you want your medical care to go in the event that you’re unable to speak for yourself. You can decide what to include, but there are some things that you usually talk about like CPR and life-sustaining hydration. For your living will to be effective, you must follow the rules in your state. When you write out the medical care you want in a way that’s legally effective under the rules of your state, you create a living will.
What do I need to do to make an effective living will in North Carolina?
To make your living will effective in North Carolina, it must be signed by two witnesses and notarized. You must make sure that the witnesses aren’t related to you. The witnesses can’t be people that get paid for your medical care. It’s important to make sure that you talk about all of the important things in your living will in order to make sure that it has the effect that you’re looking for.
Is an advance directive different than a will in North Carolina?
An advance directive in North Carolina is the same as living will. An advance directive is what it sounds like: it writes out your wishes ahead of time. When you’re incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself, it determines what health care you’re going to receive according to your wishes. Essentially, advance directives and living wills are the same in North Carolina.
What is a patient advocate in a living will?
In a living will, you can name someone as your patient advocate. That’s the person who makes choices about your medical care. Their ability to make decisions for you begins when you’re unable to make decisions for yourself. You can tell your patient advocate they can override your written wishes, or you can make them follow the wishes that you set out. You may want to let your patient advocate make a different decision in case unforeseen circumstances arise, or you may want to make sure that everyone honors your wishes no matter what. In any event, the patient advocate is a person who speaks and acts on your behalf according to your wishes when you’re unable to communicate what you want to happen.
Who do I choose for my patient advocate as part of my living will?
For your patient advocate, you can choose anyone who wants the job. Most people choose a family member, but you can choose anyone you like. Be sure to choose someone that you trust, and talk to them about your wishes when you create your living will.
Why do I need a living will?
You need a living will in order to make sure that your wishes are honored when you’re unable to speak for yourself. Without a living will, someone else makes the decisions for you. A living will lets you stay in control and live the life that you choose. A living will can be flexible, and it gives you choices as you and your loved ones face difficult decisions.
What are some things that you should include in a living will?
In a living will you should talk about the major decisions that your loved ones may have to make for your care. Whether or not you want CPR is a good thing to talk about. Whether or not you want life-sustaining hydration and nutrition are also important directives. You should also say whether you want to be an organ donor. Your attorney can help you make sure that you address all of the important points when you make your living will.
Are there any times where a living will isn’t applicable?
There are times where a living will isn’t applicable. A living will applies when a person has health problems that are likely to bring death. In an emergency, a living will doesn’t apply. Emergency medical professionals have to give life-sustaining treatment like CPR. Usually, in cases of illness, a living will applies to carry out your wishes. In some emergency cases, health-care professionals must provide emergency treatment.
Protecting your interests with a living will
A living will works to honor your wishes. By creating a living will, you can have the peace of mind to know that your wishes are going to be honored if you’re unable to advocate for yourself. Our estate planning attorneys can help you create your living will in North Carolina, and can help you make sure that you prepare an effective living will that talks about all of the things that are most important to you.