Health Care Surrogate and Living Will

Many people have signed a Designation of Health Care Surrogate (also known as a Health Care Power of Attorney) and a Living Will which designate their spouse as the person to make their health related decisions, including the decision to "pull the plug" in the event of a terminal illness. In most states if you have not designated someone in writing to make your health-related decisions, your spouse is automatically appointed to make those decisions. If you are in the throes of a bitter divorce, do you really want you estranged spouse deciding whether you live or die? If you no longer wish your spouse to have control over those decisions, you should immediately execute a new Designation of Health Care Surrogate and, if applicable, a Living Will. You should consult with a qualified estate planning attorney to make sure your designation of health care surrogate and living will comply with your state s laws.

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LIVING WILL – A living will – sometimes called a medical power of attorney – is part of comprehensive estate planning. A living will permits a person to control how he or she wishes to be treated in the event of an incapacitating illness or accident. Normally, spouses make living wills that give each other medical power of attorney.

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