Frequently Asked Questions about Living Wills, Healthcare Power of Attorneys, and Advanced Healthcare Directives

I am often asked questions regarding the important disability legal documents including the living will, health care power of attorney, and advanced healthcare directives. Specifically, I am often asked do I need these documents since I am married and my spouse can make these decisions if something should happen to me.

Unfortunately, should you enter into an irreversible medical condition or be rendered incapacitated as a result of serious accident or illness, the lack of having advanced healthcare directives could lead to serious problems for yourself and your family when it comes to authorizing care and authorizing the withdrawal and withholding of medical care.

The two most important disability legal documents regarding medical care are the Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Will declaration. The Healthcare Power of Attorney allows you to name the trusted person of your choosing to make healthcare decisions, speak with doctors, and access medical records should you be in a position where you are no longer capable of making your own healthcare decisions. The Living Will declaration allows you to state your wishes when it comes to the withdrawal and withholding of life support systems.

Should you fail to have these documents in place, your family may be left with the only other option but to pursue a guardianship proceeding in court so that your family members would be able to make these decisions on your behalf when you are no longer capable to do so. This would take time and money while you are staying in the hospital on life support systems, which may not be according to your wishes.

If you have questions regarding advanced healthcare directives, healthcare power of attorney, living will declaration, estate planning, avoiding probate nightmares, and avoiding nursing home poverty, then I encourage you to attend one of our many free educational events that are held throughout the greater Nashville area every month. In addition, I encourage you to request one of our many free legal reports that are available on this website.