How is a living will different from a simple will? That’s something you need to know for sure.
A living will is nothing like a will. A last will and testament directs your property wishes after death; a living will expresses how you will be treated and what life saving and prolonging methods you prefer, if and when you can’t direct them yourself.
In Indiana, a Living Will allows “competent individuals” (over age 18) with the opportunity to make advance medical treatment directives for themselves. At its core, a living will stipulates what you want and do not want, if you are terminally ill. Your healthcare power of attorney (POA) is someone you designate to speak for you if and when you cannot. That person will be empowered to speak with medical staff and discuss your condition.
Some of the things a Living Will can provide for are life-prolonging measures you choose when recovery is not possible, including:
- Artificial respirators
- Feeding tubes
Most people need both a living will and a healthcare power of attorney, just as most people will require an extended care health insurance plan for their later years. Both must be carefully thought out, and talked about with a professional.
Be sure you include Long-Term Care planning in your conversations about preparing a will and a living will. If you have a question about what type of plan would be best for you, let’s talk. As an extended care professional for almost 30 years, I can help you find out the facts and understand your choices.