Making decisions about our personal finances can be difficult, especially when it comes to something as important as our health. Do you know the difference between a Living Will and a Medical Power of Attorney?
In this article, we will compare the two options and look into the advantages and disadvantages of each. By the end of this guide, you will be able to make an informed decision about which option is best for you!
Living Will Vs Medical Power of Attorney Table of Contents
What is a Living Will?
A Living Will is a document that states your wishes regarding medical treatment in the event that you are unable to communicate them yourself.
It can cover things like whether or not you want to be resuscitated, what kind of pain management you would prefer, and what kind of life-sustaining measures you are willing to undergo.
What is a Medical Power of Attorney?
A Medical Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives someone you trust the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. This could be due to an accident or illness, and can even apply if you are in a coma.
The person you appoint as your Medical Power of Attorney is known as your “agent”, and they will be responsible for making decisions about your medical care, including things like what treatments you should receive and whether or not you should be placed on life support.
It’s important to note that a Medical Power of Attorney only applies to medical decisions – it does not give your agent the authority to make decisions about your finances or personal affairs.
What is The Difference Between a Living Will and a Medical Power of Attorney?
When it comes to your personal finances, you want to be sure that you have all of your bases covered. This includes having a plan in place for what will happen to your money if you become incapacitated or pass away. Two of the most important documents in this regard are living wills and medical power of attorney forms.
What Are The Different Types of Living Will?
There are two types of living will:
- Natural Death Declaration
- Directive To Physicians
Natural Death Declaration
Natural Death Declaration is a statement that you do not want your life to be prolonged by artificial means, such as mechanical ventilation or feeding tubes, if there is no hope of recovery.
Directive To Physicians
Directive To Physicians gives specific instructions to your physician regarding what types of medical treatment you do or do not want to receive, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), in the event that you are unable to communicate your wishes yourself.
What Are The Different Types of Medical Power of Attorney?
There are two types of medical power of attorney:
A durable medical power of attorney is used when you want to appoint someone to make decisions for you if you become incapacitated and are unable to communicate your wishes yourself.
An ordinary medical power of attorney, on the other hand, only lasts until you revoke it or become incapacitated.
What Are The Advantages of a Living Will?
There are several advantages to having a living will. First, it gives you the opportunity to express your wishes regarding medical treatment in the event that you become incapacitated. This can be extremely important if you have strong views about end-of-life care or other medical treatments.
Another advantage of a living will is that it can help to avoid conflict among family members or loved ones about what medical treatments you should or should not receive. If your wishes are clearly stated in a living will, it can take some of the guesswork out of decision-making for your loved ones.
Finally, a living will can give you peace of mind knowing that your wishes regarding medical care will be followed in the event that you are unable to communicate them yourself.
What Are The Advantages of a Medical Power of Attorney?
There are a few advantages to having a Medical Power of Attorney.
First, if you become incapacitated, your designated agent can make all medical decisions on your behalf.
Second, your agent does not have to be a relative – they can be anyone you trust implicitly.
Finally, if you have young children, a Medical Power of Attorney can ensure that they are taken care of if something happens to you.
What Are The Disadvantages of Living Will?
There are a few disadvantages of living will that you should be aware of before making your decision.
The first is that a living will only comes into effect if you are unable to communicate your wishes yourself. This means that if you are able to tell your doctor what treatments you do or don’t want, the living will has no legal standing.
Another disadvantage is that a living will can be difficult to change once it’s been made. If your circumstances or wishes change, you would need to create a new living will. This can be complicated and time-consuming, so it’s important to make sure that you are absolutely certain of your wishes before creating a living will.
Finally, some people may feel uncomfortable with the idea of having a living will because it seems like they are giving up control. It’s important to remember that a living will is only meant to be used in situations where you are unable to communicate your wishes yourself – so you are still very much in control of your own medical care.
What Are The Disadvantages of Medical Power of Attorney?
There are a few disadvantages of having medical power of attorney.
First, if you become incapacitated, the person you appoint as your agent will have the power to make all decisions about your medical care. This can be a difficult burden for someone to bear, and it is important to choose someone you trust implicitly.
Additionally, unless you specify otherwise, your agent's authority will last indefinitely. This means that even if you recover from your illness or injury, your agent will still have the power to make decisions about your medical care.
Finally, if you have a change of heart about who you want to make decisions for you, it can be difficult to revoke or cancel a medical power of attorney.
So, Which One Should You Use?
There's no easy answer to this question. It really depends on your personal circumstances and what you're comfortable with. If you have a strong preference for one option over the other, then that's probably the best choice for you.
Both living wills and medical power of attorney can be useful in different situations, so it's important to understand the difference between them.
If you're not sure which one is right for you, it's a good idea to speak to a lawyer or financial advisor. They can help you understand your options and make the best decision for your needs.
What Are Some Alternatives to Using a Living Will or a Medical Power of Attorney?
There are a few alternatives to using a living will or medical power of attorney. You could appoint a healthcare proxy, which is someone who would make decisions on your behalf if you were unable to do so yourself.
Another option is to create a document called an advance directive, which outlines your wishes for end-of-life care in the event that you are unable to make those decisions yourself.
What Are Some Tips For Using a Living Will?
Assuming you've already got a living will drawn up, there are still some things to keep in mind when using it. First and foremost, make sure your family and close friends know where to find it. It won't do any good if they can't locate it when the time comes.
Another tip is to keep your living will up to date. If your wishes change, be sure to update the document accordingly. You may also want to provide specific instructions for particular medical situations that could arise.
And finally, don't forget to review your living will on a regular basis. This way you can be confident that it accurately reflects your current wishes.
What Are Some Tips For Using a Medical Power of Attorney?
If you are using a medical power of attorney, there are some things that you should keep in mind. First and foremost, it is important to make sure that the person you appoint as your agent is someone who you trust completely.
This person will be making decisions on your behalf, so it is crucial that you feel confident in their ability to do so.
It is also important to be clear about what your wishes are. Your agent should know your views on things like life-sustaining treatment, organ donation, and end-of-life care. By being clear about your wishes from the outset, you can help to avoid any confusion or disagreements down the line.