Experienced Living Will Attorneys in Bowling Green, OH

Experienced Counsel for Living Wills

Illness or injury can happen when you least expect it — and at any age or stage of life. This is why it’s essential for anyone over the age of 18 to not only have estate planning documents in place, but also a plan for incapacity. A living will, along with a healthcare power of attorney, can help ensure your wishes are carried out in the event you become terminally ill and cannot make decisions on your own behalf.

The end-of-life treatment you would like to receive is not something that should be overlooked when you’re planning your estate, and it’s crucial to have a compassionate attorney by your side who can draft the appropriate documents. The living will attorney team at Middleton Law Offices is skilled in counseling clients and their families for incapacity and end-of-life matters. We are dedicated to assisting our clients with drafting sound documents that will provide them with the peace of mind they need if the unexpected occurs.

Living Wills

A living will is a specific advance directive that allows you to specify what actions may or may not be taken regarding your health care in the event that you become unable to make decisions for yourself. Not to be confused with a last will and testament — which only becomes effective upon death — a living will can be used to carry out your healthcare wishes if you have a terminal condition or are permanently unconscious. If you are unable to inform your loved ones and doctor about your medical preferences, a living will can communicate the treatment you wish to receive and the measures you would want taken to extend your life.

A variety of end-of-life care decisions can be addressed in a living will, including the following:

  • Life-sustaining treatment — A living will can provide instructions regarding whether you wish to receive life-sustaining treatment in the event you cannot make these decisions for yourself. This can include intubation, administration of drugs, blood transfusions, CPR, ventilation, surgery, and dialysis.
  • Food and water — If you are near death due to a serious injury or illness, you may not be able to survive without being administered food and water. In your living will, you can indicate whether you want nutrients and fluids to be administered intravenously or through tube feeding. You can also specify if you prefer artificially administered food and water to be withheld.
  • Antibiotics — You can specify in a living will if you’d like to receive antibiotics or antiviral medications if you are near the end of life, or prefer to let the infections run their course.
  • Organ and tissue donation — You can document whether you wish to donate your organs or tissue in a living will.
  • Palliative care — If you wish your death to occur naturally, you can specify your preference for the palliative care you wish to receive in your living will. Also referred to as comfort care, palliative care emphasizes quality of life by ensuring a patient remains comfortable without life-prolonging intervention.

To ensure your end-of-life wishes are honored, it’s important to have a living will in place. However, it’s vital to be aware that there are certain requirements and language that must be used in order for a living will to be valid in Ohio. At Middleton Law Offices, our living will attorney team has deep knowledge of the law and take the time to understand your specific objectives. We are committed to working closely with our clients and their families to draft legally compliant living wills that meet their needs.

Power of Attorney for Health Care and HIPAA Release

Even if you have drafted a valid living will, you should also ensure you have a healthcare power of attorney in place. Critically, these documents both address different aspects of your medical treatment. While a living will provides instructions to your loved ones and healthcare providers, a healthcare power of attorney gives someone else the authority to make healthcare decisions for you in the event you cannot.

If you do not have a valid healthcare power of attorney, court intervention will be required to designate someone else to make medical decisions for you. This could potentially delay your treatment or result in someone being appointed to make decisions you had not intended. Notably, a healthcare power of attorney should be drafted even if you are married — spouses cannot make health care decisions for each other without being given the legal authority to do so.

Similarly, your medical records cannot be accessed by your spouse or family members without a HIPAA release form. This document authorizes the release of your health care information to your loved ones and should be executed along with your healthcare power of attorney. Without a HIPAA form, your health care information may not be released without a court order.

At Middleton Law Offices, our attorneys will determine what documents you need to achieve your specific objectives. Our living will attorney team will discuss your goals and walk you through the estate and incapacity planning process. Applying over 100 years of combined experience, we will help ensure you have a plan in place that will offer you the protection you and your loved ones need.

Contact an Experienced Ohio Living Will Attorney

Planning for incapacity and end-of-life care can be overwhelming and stressful. However, the right attorney can help to relieve the emotional burden. With a commitment to providing our clients with the time and attention they deserve, the living will attorney team at Middleton Law Offices have worked with clients and their families for more than a century regarding their estate, incapacity, and end-of-life planning matters. Located in Bowling Green, and assisting clients throughout Ohio, we welcome you to Contact Middleton Law Offices today at 419.548.0196 for a consultation.