Pennsylvania law provides for a useful estate planning tool for competent adults to control their health care through instructions written in advance or by health care agents or representatives, as described in 20 Pa. C.S.A. § 5421, et al. Written instructions are known as “Advance Health Care Directives” and can include a “medical power of attorney,” a “living will,” or a combination of both. An experienced PA living will attorney can prepare these documents to allow you to plan out what measures will be taken with regard to your future health care when you are unable to make these decisions for yourself.
What is a Living Will?
A living will is a written instruction made in accordance with PA law that expresses your wishes and instructions for health care and health care directions when you are determined to be incompetent and have been diagnosed with an “end stage medical condition” or as “permanently unconscious.” A living will is a very important piece in your overall estate plan. Only an experienced attorney should prepare this document for you, as a living will has significant legal consequences.
Benefits of a Living Will in Pennsylvania
In a living will, you can decide, in advance, whether you want to initiate, continue, withhold or withdraw all forms of life-sustaining treatment under specified medical circumstances such as permanent unconsciousness. Without a living will, these decisions are usually made by family members, which can lead to significant conflict over what others believe your wishes may have been. Merely telling family members about your preferences for health care is not enough. Having a living will prepared by an experienced attorney ensures that your wishes will be carried out and that conflict among your family will be minimized.
Having a living will in place may also prevent a large financial burden on your family or estate. Individuals who remain in hospitals for extended periods can incur heavy costs for their necessary care. With a living will already established and professionally drafted by an experienced Blue Bell, PA living will attorney, you will have options in place that can eliminate any financial encumbrances on your family or other loved ones.
Having a living will is not only beneficial for you and your family, but it allows you to be confident that your doctors will follow your wishes. With a living will, you remain in control of your health care preferences.
Incapacity and the Living Will in PA
For situations where you are incapacitated and therefore not able to speak for yourself, but where your health is not so dire that your living will becomes effective, you should have a medical power of attorney in place. It is important to understand the distinction between these two estate planning documents, and you should have them both explained to you by a qualified Blue Bell, PA living will attorney.
Contact a Living Will Attorney in Pennsylvania
The experienced living will attorneys at The Martin Law Firm, located in Blue Bell, PA, have been assisting clients with advance health care planning for over 10 years. Our skilled Blue Bell, PA living will attorneys are well versed in PA estate planning law and can create an estate plan for you and your family that will minimize tax and financial consequences and complications and allow you to rest assured that your wishes will be carried out. Contact an experienced Blue Bell, PA living will attorney today at 215-646-3980.