What Are Living Wills/Health Care Powers Of Attorney?

I am Chesterfield lawyer Susan E. Hamra, and I am available to explain the nuances of these important estate planning documents. Here is a brief overview:

Living Wills

A Living Will is a statement of your intent regarding healthcare in the event you become incapable of expressing your desires. [Share copies of your Living Will with your family and the Attorney in Fact named in your Healthcare Power of Attorney.]

Under Missouri Law, the Living Will statute speaks of your condition as being "terminal" and your death not being prolonged by procedures that merely prolong the "dying process". No mention is made of feeding or hydration tubes. However, you may add special provisions to your Living Will regarding these and other procedures.

Under the statutes, a "terminal condition" is an incurable or irreversible condition which, in the opinion of the attending physician, is such that death will occur within a short time regardless of the application of medical procedures. "Death-prolonging procedure" is medical procedure or intervention which would serve only to prolong artificially the dying process and death will occur within a short time whether or not procedure or intervention is utilized.

Healthcare Powers of Attorney

Upon attainment of age 18, no one can make health care decisions for you without special provisions in place.

A Healthcare Power of Attorney appoints someone to carry out your intent regarding healthcare decisions in the event you are unable to do so. If you expressed your intent in a Living Will, the person appointed (Attorney-in-Fact) should make the best decision possible under the circumstances specified in your Living Will.

You should provide your Attorney-in-Fact with a copy of your Living Will.

Provisions can also be made regarding body part donations, burial, cremation, HIPAA consents, living arrangements and other matters.

Call 636-898-5881 or email my Missouri office today to set up a free initial consultation about your particular needs.