Living wills and advance medical directives are documented legal guidelines that state your preferences for medical care in the event that you are not able to make decisions for yourself. Advance medical directives allow doctors, nurses, and other caregivers to know which choices you want them to make if you are terminally ill, suffering life-threatening injuries, have entered a coma, in the final stages of dementia, or near the end of your life.
Advance Medical Directives
An advance medical directive is a written legal document that explicitly states what you do and do not wish to be done to keep you alive in the event of a medical emergency. It allows you and your loved ones to prepare in advance if you fall severely ill or suffer a major injury.
A living will is a type of advance directive that comes into effect when a patient receives a terminal diagnosis. It also spells out your desires for other medical decisions, like which medications you are okay with taking for pain management or if you desire to donate your organs if you pass away.
Differences Between Living Wills and a Power of Attorney
Power of attorney is another type of advance medical directive used when the patient is incapacitated and can no longer voice decisions they would like made for themselves. The difference is instead of having a thoroughly detailed legal document that spells out what you would like to happen if a medical emergency occurs, a power of attorney is a person you trust that has been given the legal authority and obligation to make these decisions for you. Typically power of attorneys are spouses, family members, close friends, or close members of one’s religious group.
When Should One Be Made?
Living wills and advance directives are not just for elderly adults. Things can happen, and life can throw a curveball at any moment, so it is crucial for adults of any age to be proactive and make one, too, in the event that an unexpected tragedy strikes.
How Can Help You
Making these kinds of end-of-life decisions can be very emotional, stress-inducing, and difficult to manage. However, the team at does not want you to walk through this alone. We are here to help. Our lawyers can be here for you every step of the way when deciding which of these plans is the best fit for you if tragedy strikes.
Talk to our incredible team of experienced lawyers today at to schedule your free consultation.