To speak with one of our Charlotte attorneys regarding a living will as part of your estate plan, call 704-412-1442.
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A "Living Will" is quite different from a "Last Will and Testament" and is used primarily to create end of life directives including life prolonging measures you want or don't want administered in the event you become incapacitated. In the event of an accident, decisions such as whether or not you wish to remain on artificial life support, the types of medication you would like to receive, and whether or not you would like to use breathing machines or feeding tubes, can be made in advance with a clear mind. A living will may also be used to make decisions regarding tissue and organ donation. While the thought of being unable to make decisions for yourself is unsettling, a Living Will allows you to makes those decisions while you are in an appropriate state a mind to do so.
A living will, often referred to as a "healthcare directive" or "advanced directive," is a relatively inexpensive document to have created and is a common component of an estate plan. Making difficult decisions regarding your end of life care while you are healthy can not only ensure you receive the type of healthcare you desire, but can also alleviate stress on yourself and your family members in the event of an emergency.
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Note: North Carolina law is specific in the information that may be included in a Living Will, the manner and methods by which a Living Will may be created, and the steps necessary to execute a Living Will. Failing to follow any of these rules may invalidate an otherwise enforceable Living Will.
After you create a living will, you will be able to continue making healthcare decisions on your own up until the point that you are deemed incapacitated and facing a dire terminal illness, an incurable sickness, or are in a persistent vegetative state from which you will not recover.
Once completed and properly executed, you should store your original document in a safe but easily accessible place, and give copies to your doctor, hospital, and family members. Some people also keep keep a statement in their wallet indicating that they have a living will and describing where the document can be found. There are several organizations in North Carolina, including the Secretary of State's office, that allow you to register your Living Will. NC Law does not require registration.
Living wills may be changed and updated at any time by the creator of the document. It is important to destroy prior versions, indicate your desire for the new document to replace all prior documents, and notify family members, healthcare workers, doctors, and other other parties that may have received a copy of your old directives.
Hunter & Hein, Attorneys at Law, PLLC, © Copyright 2018.
Our Charlotte estate planning attorneys are available to help you with drafting a living will and last will and testament. Call us at 704-412-1442 to speak to a lawyer today.