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Living Wills Lawyer in Simpsonville, SC, Helping Individuals Plan For End-of-Life Care Decisions

No one wants to think that one day they or their family may face the possibility of making challenging medical decisions regarding end-of-life care. Conversely, some older individuals have started to experience more severe illnesses and have begun to consider what type of medical care they do or do not wish to receive.

Furthermore, many individuals are still determining what their legal options may be and how they can protect themselves and their families when the time comes to make these difficult decisions.

However, one of the best legal tools an individual can use to express their wishes for end-of-life care is to create a living will. If you would like help in creating a living will or want more information, contact the Law Office of Rhett Burney of Simpsonville, S.C., to schedule a consultation to learn more.

Why is it Important to Have a Living Will?

Too frequently, many individuals mistakenly believe that a living will is only for older people or those in poor health. In reality, most people can greatly benefit from having a living will. A sudden illness or injury can strike at any time and can leave family members unsure of what medical decisions their family members would prefer.

However, a living will document the type of end-of-life care the individual, known as the principal, wishes to receive. One of the most significant advantages of having a living will is that it helps to take the guesswork away from family members who may be agonizing over what decisions should be made for care.

A knowledgeable attorney can also provide more information about the importance of a living will and how it can help you.

What is the Difference Between a Health Care Power of Attorney and a Living Will?

Often, individuals use the terms “healthcare power of attorney” and “living will” interchangeably. However, a healthcare power of attorney (HCPOA) and a living will have distinct legal differences.

For example, an HCPOA gives the agent the legal authority to make all health care decisions for the principal, including any end-of-life care decisions that must be addressed. Conversely, a living will only address end-of-life care decisions. For example, a living will instruct the healthcare provider concerning withholding specific “life-sustaining procedures” if the principal is in a state of permanent unconsciousness or has a terminal condition.

Of course, it is always best to hire an attorney to advise you on what instructions should be given in the living will to ensure they meet your needs.

When Does a Living Will Go Into Effect?

Under South Carolina law, a living will only legally go into effect when it has been established by medical personnel that the principal is permanently unconscious or terminally ill. In most instances, it typically takes up to 6 hours of active treatment before an individual can be declared permanently unconscious.

Regardless of whether the principal is permanently unconscious or terminally ill, two physicians must agree the individual is beyond medical help and therefore has no chance of recovery.

A living will be written with various provisions based on the principal’s preferences. To learn more about how a living will ensure that your wishes are carried out, contact the Law Office of Rhett Burney of Simpsonville to schedule an appointment to speak with a qualified legal team member who can answer your questions.

Why Should I Choose Your Law Firm to Help Me Create a Living Will?

The Law Office of Rhett Burney of Simpsonville, S.C., has extensive experience in assisting clients in creating living wills that express their wishes concerning end-of-life medical care. Our legal team recognizes that it can be challenging to make decisions that deal with end-of-life care.

However, proper planning can ensure that your wishes are carried out. Perhaps even more importantly, a living will eliminate the guesswork your family could experience as they struggle to decide what you may or may not want regarding medical treatment.

If you would like to create a living will or still need more information about how it can benefit you and your family, contact the Law Office of Rhett Burney at (864) 689-4482 to schedule a consultation.