Living wills, also called advance directives, inform healthcare professionals and family members about what medical care you wish to receive if a mental or physical incapacity leaves you unable to make decisions. When drafted correctly, these documents require loved ones and family members to respect your wishes.

To dictate your future medical care, reach out to a Mount Laurel living wills lawyer. An experienced wills attorney could explain how these documents function and help you get started on protecting your rights.

How to Draft a Living Will That Conforms with State Law

Advance healthcare directives can be vital to a person’s estate plan. A living will must contain specific language for it to have a legal impact. A major part of ensuring a document serves its purpose includes complying with the rules for execution.

According to New Jersey Revised Statute § 26:2H-56, anyone who creates estate documents must sign and date paperwork with at least two witnesses present. In addition, the witnesses must affix their signatures to the documents. Alternatively, the author of a living will can sign paperwork in front of a notary public or other party who carries the legal authorization to administer an oath. A skilled attorney in Mount Laurel could help ensure that a living will adheres to these important state laws.

The Legal Impact of Advance Healthcare Directives

Individuals use living wills to retain control of their health if they become unable to make important decisions. These documents legally bind a healthcare provider to follow a patient’s wishes, as long as those requests are ethical. According to N.J. Rev. Stat. § 26:2H-62, a doctor must question family members or others about the presence of an advance medical directive when beginning treatment on an individual. If there is a document that appears to be genuine, the doctor must provide treatment according to those terms or transfer the patient to a physician willing to provide that care. If a physician does not respect an existing and valid living will, a tenacious lawyer in Mount Laurel could help a family hold this individual accountable.

What Topics Should a Person Include in a Living Will?

The details of an advance directive depend on a patient’s preferences. Likewise, there is no form that a living will must take. Instead, individuals should evaluate their desires and draft documents that speak to their wishes in certain situations.

A common clause that many people reference in a living will is a “do not resuscitate” order. These typically ensure that a person will not be placed on a ventilator or other life support machine if they cannot breathe independently. More specific examples can include directives concerning:

  • Experimental treatment
  • Transfer to hospice care
  • Participation in clinical trials

Allowing a hardworking lawyer in Mount Laurel to take the lead in drafting a living will could increase the chances that a person’s wishes are followed if they become incapacitated.

Contact a Mount Laurel Living Wills Attorney Today

Living wills can help you control your future medical care. If an illness or injury leaves you unable to articulate your requests for treatment, a directive for healthcare can ensure that no one else attempts to make medical decisions on your behalf.

Speaking with a Mount Laurel living wills lawyer could help you to better understand these documents and how they can provide protection for your future. An attorney could draft a living will and ensure that your intentions are clear to anyone who reads it. Reach out now to learn more.