No one likes to talk about end-of-life decisions and wishes, it’s morbid and scary. But now is the time to talk about it with loved ones. The first step in having these discussions is understanding the legal lingo like “living will” and “durable power of attorney.”
Making Your Wishes Known – A Living Will
A living will is about making your medical wishes known. The living will provides your family with clear instructions so that they are not forced to make them for you in the event of an emergency.
A Living Will by Any Other Name Flocks Together
A living will can also be called an advanced directive or healthcare directive. They may include information regarding an individual’s wishes for pain relief, life sustaining measures such as a feeding tube or the use a ventilator.
Living Wills and DNR’s
Another legal term you may hear quite often is “DNR” which stands for “Do Not Resuscitate.” This is a legal directive that is usually included in a living will. If someone signs a DNR, this tells medical professionals as well as family members that they do not want to any “heroic measures” to keep them alive should their heart stop.
Your Advocate – Durable Power Of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is a legal document in which you name the person you would like to be responsible for your medical care or finances (or both!) should you become incapacitated.
This person of your choosing would have the ability to carry out decisions for you from your living will and make medical decisions not covered in the scope of your living will. If given financial power of attorney, this person would also take care of paying your bills and managing your investments.
Needless to say, It’s important to choose someone you trust when it comes to selecting your Power of Attorney.
SeniorLIFE is a certified LIFE program provider under CMS Medicare and Medicaid.