Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law
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Advice for writing a living will

Some people in Louisiana may understand that it is a good idea to have a living will, but doing so is low on the priority list. Other people may not even know what a living will is, but it is an important part of estate planning if a person wants to have control over his or her own healthcare.

According to Mayo Clinic, a living will is a legal document that names a power of attorney who will make healthcare and medical decisions in the event a patient is unable to do so. A living will comes into play if the patient has dementia, is in a coma, has a terminal illness or has serious injuries. Also known as a healthcare proxy, a power of attorney directs the medical team as to how to proceed and what life-saving procedures the patient would like.

When choosing a proxy, the patient should consider someone who is trustworthy and will value the patient's wishes even when someone else disagrees. The patient should also reflect on what he or she would want, such as a feeding tube, assisted ventilation, CPR, palliative care and organ donation, if nearing the end of life.

U.S. News discusses that a person should use legal forms available through an estate planning attorney or hospital when writing a living will so that it will be valid. Once he or she completes the will, one copy should go to the medical doctor, one should go to the power of attorney and the original copy should remain at home or with a lawyer. 

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Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law
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