Why a Living Will Is Vital

Power of attorney requirements

No-one likes to think about the end; but it is not only the elderly, terminally ill or disabled people who need to consider their wishes if they are incapacitated near end of life. Awareness of living wills, also called advanced directives is growing; between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of seniors with a living will increased from 47 to 72 percent. A 2014 study of rural Alabama veterans published in the journal Research in Nursing and Health found that just 13 percent had living wills yet 40% wanted help from an Alabama attorney or other organization drafting one.

Essentially a living will lets you stipulate what type of care you want to accept if you are too injured or ill to make such decisions yourself. This can include options such as whether or not to have dialysis, whether to start tube feeding or whether or not to attempt resuscitation procedures if you stop breathing or your heart stops beating. You can also indicate your willingness to have organ or tissue donation performed after death. Creating a durable power of attorney allows you specify who can make such decisions for you if you cannot do so. A guardianship, on the other hand, also allows someone else to make decision son your behalf, both in terms of finances and in terms of healthcare, but is usually appointed by the court.

It is important to get power of attorney requirements right, as a Joint Editorial Board for Uniform Trust and Estate Acts survey found that most respondents had had some difficulty enacting power of attorney, with 17 percent reporting frequent difficulty and 63% occasional difficulty according to the Alabama Uniform Power of Attorney Act.

Having documents for a Health Care Proxy and a Durable Power of Attorney drawn up by a qualified Alabama attorney can cost from $500 to $1,500.

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