Why You Need A Living Will
You may remember the case of Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman who suffered major brain damage and entered a vegetative state as the result of cardiac arrest in 1990. Her husband asked doctors to disconnect her feeding tubes, since there was no hope of recovery. Her parents, however, disagreed. She remained on life support for seven years while the case was argued in various courts.
The legal wrangling and family strife could have been avoided with a simple document known as a living will. In New Jersey, this document is called an instruction directive. Combined with a heath care proxy, or health care power of attorney, this document:
- Names a trusted person to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to communicate
- Tells medical providers and family members whether you want artificial life support if you are in an end-of-life condition with no hope of recovery
An illness or accident could happen to you at any time. Simply telling your family members what you would want to happen is not enough to make it happen. Without legal documents, the courts could end up deciding what happens to you.
Our lawyers will work with you to craft a living will, health care proxy and other estate planning documents to meet your goals.