Living Will Attorney in Nashville
Living wills are completely separate from last wills and testaments. Living wills outline how people want doctors to handle their health care after a serious accident or injury renders them incapacitated. These documents are incredibly important for securing the care you want, as well as relieving your family from difficult obligations to make life-changing decisions for you.
A living will comes into effect any time a person needs emergency medical care and is unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate. People leave directives to physicians about organ donation, organ transplants, blood transfusions, resuscitation preferences, how long to keep them alive artificially, and other important decisions concerning their health care.
Do I Need a Living Will?
Attorneys advise everyone to make out a living will, but especially recommend them for the elderly or those with reason to believe they will have serious health issues in the future. Living wills protect those you care about from having to make life or death decisions on your behalf. Making these decisions for them is best for everyone involved.
In the event that an accident makes you unable to communicate your decisions, your family members can use your living will to understand your wishes. Without a written living will, your spouse or next of kin can alter your fate. They will have no legal obligation to uphold what you wanted, even if you mentioned it in conversation. Without documentation, your loved ones may choose to keep you alive artificially or not donate your organs after death – anything they see fit since they weren’t told otherwise.
If your religion imposes stipulations on the types of health care you’re allowed to have (i.e., not accepting blood transfusions or organ transplants), record this information in your living will. Otherwise, your loved ones may agree to standard medical treatments to keep you alive, despite what you would prefer.
How Do I Write a Living Will?
Like last wills and testaments, you’ll need the help of an attorney to write up the proper legal documentation of your living will. You’ll also need to have it signed in front of a notary public, and double check that it follows Tennessee state laws – otherwise a judge could rule it invalid in a court of law. Since the requirements of living wills vary state by state, consult a Tennessee attorney at law to prepare your will.
If you have more than one living will, ensure a notary signs your most recent one so that it’s active as the one you want used. Your lawyer will be able to list the directives you may want to include on your living will, such as how long you want to stay in a coma before doctors take you off life support or whether you want doctors to resuscitate you if you flat line.
Once valid, the living will takes effect immediately. You can revoke it at any time, and it is used only if doctors fail to achieve personal communication with you. Doctors will rely on personal communication for as long as possible before reverting to the directives laid out in your living will. You can change your living will at any time, but a notary has to sign it again for it to be valid.
If you believe making out a living will is in your best interest, contact the Nashville law firm of Larry R. Williams, PLLC. We’ll set you up with one of our experienced living will attorneys to walk you through the process at your own pace, and answer any questions you may have. We know living wills can be frightening to think about, but not having one in the event of an incapacitation is worse.