A living will allows a person to
1. Name another individual in charge of making health care decisions in the event that one becomes physically or mentally unable to make those decisions on their own.
2. Leave directions regarding life-prolonging treatment.
3. Leave directions regarding the use of artificially provided food and water.
4. Leave directions regarding organ donation or the use of one’s body for medical research.
In Kentucky, the person you name to make decisions for you is called your surrogate. Most people name a spouse, partner, relative, or close friend as their surrogate. When choosing a surrogate, remember that the person you name will have the power to make important treatment decisions. Choose the person best qualified to be your healthcare surrogate. Also, consider picking a back-up person, in case your first choice isn’t available when needed. Be sure to tell the person that you have named them as your surrogate and make sure that the person understands what’s most important to you.
Materials are available at the Kentucky Attorney General’s website for drafting a Living Will yourself. It is important to note, however, that a Living Will must be signed in the presence of a notary public and two disinterested witnesses. This means the witnesses cannot be related to you or a beneficiary under your will. Because of the witness requirement, which is similar to the witness requirement in a valid will, many people choose to create their Living Will when they create their Last Will and Testament.
Preparing an Estate Package at Coleman, Roles, & Associates
The attorneys at Coleman are available to prepare a valid will, power of attorney, and living will for $245-$425 depending on the complexity of each person’s situation. Contact us at 502-771-0588 to discuss what Estate Planning documents fit your needs.