A living will is a legal document that outlines an individual’s wishes for medical treatment if they cannot communicate their desire due to injury, illness, or incapacity. It guides medical professionals and family members during times of crisis. It must be carefully drafted to ensure it accurately reflects the individual’s wishes and covers all possible scenarios. Some features must be there in the document.
1. Clear Statement of Intention
The first and most important aspect of living will is a clear statement of intention. It is a statement that the document is a living will and that it is being executed voluntarily and without coercion. The individual must state they are of a sound mind and understand the implications of the decisions.
2. Proper Identification
The living will must include the individual’s full name, birthday, and other relevant identifying information. Moreover, it must identify the individual appointed to have medical powers of attorney and thus be able to make medical decisions if the individual is unable. Finally, the living will should specify the powers and limitations of the agent, including the ability to make end-of-life decisions.
3. Specific Medical Treatments
The document must outline the specific medical treatments the individual wishes to receive or not to receive in given circumstances. That can include life-sustaining treatments such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation or tube feeding. In addition, the living will should outline any specific circumstances under which the individual does or does not want specific medical treatments to be administered.
4. Personal or Religious Values and Beliefs
The living will should consider personal or religious beliefs that may impact mental treatment decisions. An example would be a religious prohibition on blood transfusions. In addition, personal values such as attitudes towards the quality of life, autonomy, and feelings about death and dying need to be reflected in the living will.
5. Revocation of Previous Living Wills
There must be a statement that revokes any previous living will or medical directive that may have been executed earlier.
Group legal plans will draft living wills for their members. Countrywide Pre-Paid Legal Services offer living wills as a benefit option for group legal plan members.
Our nationwide network of attorneys will provide the pre-paid legal services that the plan document provides. These legal professionals are familiar with drafting living wills and will advise group legal plan members on how to compose an effective one.
Anyone who has medical powers of attorney must be a trusted person who understands what the individual wants in their living will. The Countrywide attorney will advise the group legal plan member of the significance of the selection. Then, the plan member decides who will have medical powers of attorney.
It is not easy to consider the applications of a living will. Our lawyers understand this and empathize with anyone needing this pre-paid legal services benefit. They will listen carefully to what the plan member wants, answer all questions, and draft the document. The final copy is subject to the approval of the plan member.
The Client’s Role
Countrywide works with organizations of all sizes. We have the input of the decision-makers in drafting the group legal plan benefits for their employees. All our options are explained, and we request the decision-makers choose what benefits will be part of their plan. Those selections are plan documents; we provide the administration and member services. The benefit is something that employees will appreciate.
Medical emergencies happen suddenly. A living will outlines what medical treatment should be provided and what should be avoided. If you are interested in the pre-paid legal services benefits we have to offer, please contact us at your earliest convenience. The living will is just one of the services we can provide for your workforce.