Also referred to as an advance medical directive, a living will is an essential component of estate planning. An estate planning lawyer in College Station can provide the information and assistance needed to ensure that a living will meets your needs and desires, and is legally created.
The Value of Having a Living Will
An advance medical directive accomplishes what one may glean from the name—it sets in place a directive for medical care in advance in case the person becomes terminally ill or injured and is not able at the time to make such decisions. As an estate planning lawyer in College Station will tell you, living wills are very important for virtually everyone who is getting older. However, younger people can benefit from having such a directive in place as well; fatal injuries, and even illnesses, are not restricted to old age.
Provisions that Can Be Directed
The requirements for living wills are set forth in Texas' Health and Safety Code, Section 166.031. Generally speaking, living wills are fairly flexible and can be written to conform with the wishes of the person, with a few restrictions. When you meet with your estate planning lawyer in College Station he will ask you to outline what you would like the medical directive to include. You may, for instance, wish that no extraordinary measures be taken to keep you alive.
Your estate planning lawyer in College Station will tell you if any of your preferences cannot be authorized in the living will, but the following are common treatments that people ask to be administered or withheld:
• Blood transfusions
• Artificial respiration
• Artificial feeding or hydration of the patient
An estate planning lawyer in College Station on the Physician's Role in an Advance Directive
A physician can abide by the requests specified by the living will without fear of being held liable. An exception to this is in the case of a pregnant woman who suffers an accident that will lead to death. The doctor must make every attempt to save the child's life. As your estate planning lawyer in College Station will explain in more detail, a physician can also decline to withhold treatment. However, he no longer will be able to treat the patient, and must transfer treatment to another doctor.
Call an estate planning lawyer in College Station for Legal Assistance
In order for a living will to be legal, it must be either notarized and signed by the notary, or witnessed by two individuals, one of whom must be a disinterested party. A living will can be changed at any time prior to it's going into effect.