What is the Difference Between a Living Will and a Health Care Directive?

Posted on: Jan 18, 2017

A Living Will is simply another name for a Health Care Directive. This legal document, also known as an Advance Directive, allows you the opportunity to express your preferences concerning the type, level, and duration of medical treatment and care that you want to receive. Why is this so important? Unfortunately, there may come a time when you are in need of medical care, but you are unable to physically or mentally to express your wishes to your doctor or healthcare providers. By executing a Living Will, you can take the time to consider the different scenarios and options for medical treatment, and clearly put your preferences into writing.
Furthermore, a Living Will can make it much easier on your family. Instead of having to make a difficult, emotional, and uninformed decision about your medical care, your family can look to your Living Will for answers. Rather than trying to guess what you would have wanted if you could make a decision, or leaving an almost impossible decision up to a loved one, you can take matters into your own hands and make the decisions that are best for you.
A Living Will or Health Care Directive can address several different areas of medical treatment, including the following:

  • Refusal of all medical care and treatment
  • Removal of life support if you are in a permanent vegetative state or terminal condition
  • Instructions to use all efforts available to sustain life, no matter what
  • The timeframe during which you want to remain on life support, if at all
  • Refusal of transfusions or other blood products for religious reasons

A Living Will (Advance Directive) is a critical part of any comprehensive estate plan and are essential to ensuring that your true wishes are carried out. Advance Directives also can protect your loved ones from having to make rushed and agonizing decisions about your end-of-life care. This is why consulting an experienced elder law attorney is a necessary step to planning out your future. Don’t delay in contacting the Spokane advance directive attorneys of Elder Law Group PLLC today, and schedule an appointment to speak with us about your Estate Planning needs.