If you’ve consulted a probate attorney in The Woodlands, you’re probably already familiar with the concept of using a last will and testament to designate beneficiaries for assets and guardians for minor children. “Living wills” are completely different. A living will, also known as an advance directive, is a document that your probate lawyer can draft on your behalf. A living will goes into effect during your lifetime, rather than after your passing.
When your probate lawyer creates a living will, he or she will convey to medical or healthcare providers your healthcare preferences. This allows your healthcare providers and family members to identify the care you want to receive in the event that you become incapacitated and cannot communicate these wishes. For instance, you might decide to express a desire for palliative care, but that you wish to avoid extraordinary measures such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Should your preferences change, you can revoke the living will at any time and create a new one if desired. Finally, never forget, an advanced directive does not override your stated wishes if you are awake and competent–it only affects decisionmaking when you are unable to make your own decision following a medical emergency.