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At Herrig & Vogt, LLP, we are dedicated to helping clients ensure they receive future medical attention according to their own wishes. Through meticulous and thorough planning, our Roseville estate planning attorneys will work tirelessly to meet your unique needs. We have extensive experience in estate planning and probate litigation and want to help you know your options for preparing for your future. Through a living will, you can dictate your own healthcare when you are no longer able to voice your desires.
According to statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 70 percent of Americans die in a hospital, a nursing home, or a long-term care facility. In contrast to this, more than 80 percent of patients who suffer from chronic diseases state that they would prefer not to be hospitalized or placed in an intensive care unit (ICU) when they are dying. This is because many people do not want to spend their final days on life-support equipment and under heavy medication. Furthermore, end-of-life medical treatment in an ICU can easily cost upwards of $10,000 per day, meaning that keeping oneself alive a little longer may decimate the estate and leave nothing for the surviving family members.
The living will, also known as an advance healthcare directive, is an estate planning instrument that you can use to clearly state your preferences concerning the nature, scope and extent of medical treatment that you would want to receive in the event of an incapacitating injury or illness. Unlike a will, it is not used to address matters of your personal estate, but is rather only for answering questions concerning your medical treatment. You can, for example, voice your wishes regarding whether or not you would want to be placed on life-support equipment after your heart has stopped. By drafting a living will, you can make it known exactly what treatment you want to receive and which treatments you do not want.
Once an advance healthcare directive has been created, you can move into the future with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have spared your loved ones the emotional distress and anxiety of having to make difficult decisions concerning your medical care and then living the rest of their own lives wondering whether they have chosen correctly. Moreover, you can potentially preserve a large amount of money for your estate by choosing to forego certain types of treatment. Alternatively, you can use your living will to ensure that you will be kept alive for as long as medically possible, thereby allowing you the opportunity to say your last goodbyes and to settle your affairs.
Even the most carefully prepared living will may fail to anticipate certain events. Furthermore, advances in medical technology may provide for new treatments that would raise questions that would not be answered by the document. To address this possibility, you may additionally choose to draft a healthcare proxy. This type of estate planning document is used to appoint an agent, another person whom you trust, to make medical decisions on your behalf. It may be also in your best interests to create a durable power of attorney, which allows you to name an attorney-in-fact to act on your behalf in handling your personal estate during times when you have been incapacitated by injury or illness.
Some people who decide to write a living will choose to do so on their own, thinking that it should be easy enough to complete this task without the assistance of a Roseville probate lawyer. This can be a serious mistake, one that has the potential to cause major upset and stress for your loved ones. For example, ambiguity in the language used in the document, or minor errors in the way it is worded or structured, could result in it being declared invalid. Furthermore, you might not be aware of all of the issues that must be addressed in order for the living will to be comprehensive.
Another issue has to do with making sure that your will is used. A large-scale study published in Critical Care found that only 25 percent of physicians knew that their patients had advance healthcare directives on file. To ensure that your living will can perform as expected when the time comes, enlist Herrig & Vogt, LLP to help. We serve clients throughout Placer County, Sacramento County and El Dorado County, and have 24 years of estate planning experience. A lawyer from our team can take the time to help you fully explore this issue with the sensitivity and care that it deserves. We recognize how important the subject may be to you and your family and we want to see you walk out of our office with peace of mind in knowing that you have put an effective plan in place for when the time comes.
Contact us now online or by calling us at (888) 901-8229 for a free case evaluation.
At our law firm, our legal team brings more than 100 years of combined experience to every case. Several of us our top-rated by peers for exceptional ethics and legal ability, known for delivering client-centered counsel for any legal issue. Discover how we can be of service in a no cost, no obligation case review.