Healthcare Directives & Living Wills

Central Minnesota Estate Planning Attorney
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What is a Health Care Directive?

A health care directive, also known as an advance medical directive or living will, is a legal document where you give instructions for your medical care if you cannot speak for yourself due to illness or incapacity. A living will gives you the opportunity to choose your treatment and artificial life-support decisions preemptively. Other legal forms that may be a part of your health care directive are the health care proxy selection form, do not resuscitate order, and organ donation form. Your health care directive will only go into effect in cases where death is imminent and you are medically declared unable to communicate your wishes, such as in a comatose state or late stages of dementia.

Empty Hospital bed.

What is a Living Will?

A living will is the central part of your health care directive. In your living will, you will have to decide if and when you want to receive life-prolonging treatments, including things like:

  • Blood transfusions
  • CPR
  • Dialysis
  • Medication
  • Tube feeding & artificial hydration
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Do-not-resesitate orders
  • Health care representative
  • Comfort care
  • Organ and tissue donations
  • Antibiotics or antiviral medications


Get your Living Wills questions answered quickly!

With measures such as intravenous feeding and artificial hydration, comatose patients can sometimes live for years without regaining consciousness. Alternatively, some wish to forego these treatments and let death occur naturally. “Palliative care” is a type of care that focuses on alleviating pain rather than prolonging life. Patients can experience comfort until their life ends naturally. These are tough decisions, and you may want to research all alternatives to make the choices you feel are right for you.

What is a Health Care Proxy?

A health care proxy is an agent you appoint to make health care decisions on your behalf if you cannot. Their choices must follow your wishes clearly stated in your living will. It should be someone who knows you personally and knows your influencing factors, such as religious beliefs or attitudes toward treatments. They should feel confident in their ability to make the same decisions you would in any scenario that presents itself.
Senior man at hospital hand in blood pressure

Why Creating a Health Care Directive is so Important

If you cannot communicate your desires and do not have a living will or health care proxy in place, the decision could be in anyone’s hands. In some cases, decisions are left up to your healthcare providers. This may lead to your family going through an extensive court process to obtain the right, especially if they can’t agree on who should be in charge. And often, whoever does end up in the role has little to no knowledge of your wishes, making it a nearly impossible decision for them. Providing a health care directive leaves a clear set of guidelines that can be tremendously helpful in alleviating the emotional toll of the situation.

How Do You Create a Health Care Directive?

You can create a health care directive on your own with some careful research. However, these are important questions, and sometimes your answers may be complicated. An attorney can be an expert to consult as you make your decisions, and they will know how to write it clearly, so there’s no room for misinterpretation. The requirements for living wills also vary from state to state. An experienced living will attorney will be familiar with your state’s laws. Even if you draft your own living will, you may want to consult an attorney to ensure its validity.

Paul Jeddeloh is an Experienced & Compassionate Attorney at Law who can assist you with the following estate planning and elder law issues

  • Probate of Estate
  • Testate Estates
  • Intestate Estates
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Supplemental Needs Trust
  • Revocable Living Trusts
  • Irrevocable Living Trusts
  • Charitable Trusts
  • Living Trusts
  • Asset Protection
  • Medicaid Laws
  • Gifts to Minors
  • Probate Litigation
  • Power of Attorney
  • Will Contests
  • Family Business Succession Planning

Experienced, Trusted, and Compassionate Attorney

Attorney Paul Jeddeloh is dedicated to your case. He is an attorney that has provided compassionate and trusted estate representation for over three decades. Paul has the experience to protect your loved ones in their time of need. Contact Paul Jeddeloh, a top-rated estate planning and elder law attorney, to help with your future plans.
St Cloud Attorney Paul Jeddeloh

Call today for your consultation!

St Cloud (320) 240-9423 Big Lake (320) 262-2889 Cold Spring (320) 348-2001