When we hear about “estate planning” and “wills,” it often resonates as something to be done much later in life. However, it is important to take proactive steps with regard to your wishes while you still have the legal capacity to do so.
What is a Living Will or Medical Proxy?
Most of us know that a will is a legal document that directs what happens to our assets after we are gone. A “living will,” also known in New Jersey as an “advanced medical directive,” is a legal document that can express your wishes regarding life-sustaining medical treatment in the event you become incapacitated or are unable to give informed consent to health care providers to perform medical procedures. Similarly, a medical proxy allows you to name someone you trust, such as a family member, to make health care decisions for you if you lack the capacity to do so.
Keep in mind that a living will does not become effective unless and until you are legally unable to make an informed medical decision.
It is not pleasant to think about, but events can happen that will leave you seriously injured or ill, and unable to legally make decisions regarding your own medical care. A living will ensures that your wishes in these circumstances are followed. Having these documents in place can also help avoid disputes between your family members during emotionally difficult circumstances.
Find Out How Levine Staller Can Help With Your Estate Planning
Although the creation of a living will does not necessarily require the assistance of an attorney, it is extremely important that you understand what you may achieve with a properly drafted advance medical directive and have the opportunity to discuss your options with a knowledgeable professional. The Estate Planning Attorneys at Levine Staller are available to help you gain a better understanding and draft a health care directive that reflects your wishes.
The attorneys at Levine Steller, P.A., understand and respect that we all deserve to make our own decisions that affect our medical care. You should have the right to choose which medical treatment(s) are right – or not right – for you. We believe that you should be fully informed in order to make the best decision. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us online or call us at 609-348-1300 today!