Living Wills? I thought you were a personal Injury Attorney?
Ok, I assure you that I am not branching out into a new area of practice. I receive the occasional inquiry about wills and estates and always refer people on to someone who likes that kind of law. What I'm talking about here is a living will, and it is something I don't think you need a lawyer to write for you. Here is a link to find a living will you can download. It is courtesy of an organization that I've been a part of since before I was licensed to practice law, the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers. On the page, you will see links to download a living will and also to download a health care power of attorney. I suggest you have both.
What is a living will?
If you have turned on the TV in the last, oh, say, decade, you've heard of Terri Schiavo. She was the woman in Florida that was kept alive in a persistant vegatative state for a very long time. Epic legal battles were fought over whether to "pull the plug" on her body or not.
I'm not going to get into the politics of that, but the reason for the big fight, which even the President chimed in on, was that Terri did not have a living will. All a living will does is tell the people that are caring for you what you want done in certain circumstances if you are not conscious and can't make the decision for yourself. It can appoint someone else to make the decision for you.
A lot of hospitals have their own forms. I like the one above better. You will have to get it signed before a notary, which might cost you $3, or you might get it done free at your own bank.
Don't leave home without it
Unless you relish the thought of your loved ones struggling to figure out what to do with your body when you have no brain waves left, fill in the form and keep it in a safe place where a trusted person will know to go to find it.
And given the way things work out, most of the time if you have it, you won't need it. So think of it as a little bit of luck you may have "bought" yourself.