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McCurrie McCurrie
& McCurrie, L.L.C.

680 Kearny Avenue
Kearny, NJ 07032-3010
Phone: (201) 467-4180
Fax: (201) 997-9567
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Planning for End-of-Life Care: More than a Living Will

Planning for end-of-life care is an essential, yet often misunderstood step to take when making plans for your future. Along with estate planning, documents like living wills allow individuals to make decisions for themselves, while they are still able to plan ahead.

Medical emergencies and other unforeseen circumstances can come out of nowhere, and often do. Having a plan for end-of-life care ensures that the final say is your own.

While living wills, which fall under the category of advance directives, are more well-known, they are far from the only option available.

An advance care directive is simply a document that tells your doctor what to do in the event that you are not able to impart those directions in person. There are three big ones to remember.

First, a living will is a document which dictates the sort of medical treatment and life-sustaining measures you wish to receive if you become seriously ill or otherwise incapacitated. It does not allow you to name a second party to make medical decisions for you.

However, the durable power of attorney (DPA) does allow for that type of designation. Using a DPA, you are able to legally grant another person decision-making power, should you be unable to make medical or financial decisions for yourself.

Lastly, a do not resuscitate (DNR) order tells medical personnel not to use cardiopulmonary resuscitation methods if your heart stops beating or you stop breathing.

When speaking with an attorney about end-of-life care, it's important to know exactly what you're looking for. At the least, it's important to have some sort of idea of the differences between advance care directives. This way the two of you can work together to draft the most suitable resolution.

Related Resource

  • Advance Directives and Do Not Resuscitate Orders (Family Doctor)

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