A Pennsylvania Living Will is defined by Pennsylvania statutes as a witnessed document in writing, or a witnessed oral statement voluntarily made by the principal expressing the principal’s instructions concerning life-prolonging procedures. A PA Living Will can be put in place if a person is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. If you are in a Pittsburgh hospital, your doctor will be informed about the terms of your Living Will and he or she will be legally obligated to follow your wishes. A Living Will can also be put into writing while an individual is healthy, as part of their estate planning and just as a precaution. If you want to make sure that your family knows what to do in case you end up in a state where you can’t verbally express your wishes, you should considered contacting a Pennsylvania Wills & Estates attorney for information about a Living Will.
Living Wills have become more common recently as people realize the importance of making critical decisions about their end of life medical care ahead of time. Many legal battles have been played out in the media about how long and how expensive it is to keep family members alive using life-prolonging procedures. Having a Pennsylvania Living Will prevents your family from having to make this difficult decision by allowing each person to document their own wishes and preferences, and not leaving this decision up to anyone else.
Below are three reasons a person planning for their future should consider hiring a Pittsburgh Wills & Estates attorney for assistance in executing a Living Will.
Benefit #1 – Control the treatments you receive. In a PA Living Will, you have the opportunity to express what treatments you want. There are many procedures that require authorization from the patient. You can make these authorizations in advance in case you are incapacitated. You can insure that you will get the treatment you need and want. Conversely, there may be certain medical treatments that for some reason you may not want. It could be a “do not resuscitate” order, or you may not want a feeding tube. A Living Will gives you control over the treatments that you will accept and those you will not. Your doctors will do what you wanted them to do. They won’t do what they simply feel is best for you. You are in control and not your doctor.
Benefit #2 – Know your outcomes. You never know when an illness or disease might strike or you may be in an accident that puts you into a situation where you cannot make your health care decisions. Having a Pennsylvania Living Will, that was properly drafted by a Pittsburgh Wills attorney, assures you that incapacitation will not make outcomes a guessing game. You know what to expect and what will happen because you have specified it.
Benefit #3 – Make the situation easier for your family. Since you have specified what you want, it will be easier for your family to accede to your wishes. You have limited their options so decisions won’t be as difficult as they might have been. By creating a Living Will, you also eliminate any potential disagreements that may have taken place between family members about your wishes. Additionally, a PA Living Will, assuming it is properly drafted by an Allegheny County Wills attorney, may help save your family money. Medical treatments, especially long term care, can become very expensive. You can make decisions in advance that will eliminate or minimize the cost of care for you.
If you are planning for your future and want to make sure your family does not have to make difficult decisions for you when you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself, contact a Western Pennsylvania Living Wills lawyer at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates in Allegheny County. Our attorneys are experienced in drafting these important documents and can draft a Living Will on your behalf to ensure that your end of life medical care is handled according to your own wishes.