A health care power of attorney and a living will are both termed advanced health care directives because you create them in advance of an incapacitating event. In the event that you are unable to communicate with your own doctors or are unable to understand the information they are sharing with you, your living will is a legally enforceable method of ensuring that your wishes are still honored.
Whether or not a person has a living will that is in effect, an attorney in fact agent on a power of attorney can make health care decisions if that power of attorney gives the exact requirements relating to the manner of execution and the agent follows them.
For this reason, you may want to create a separate advanced directive known as a durable power of attorney for health care. In all of these situations, it is very beneficial to work directly with an experienced and knowledgeable estate planning attorney.
Only an estate planning attorney can tell you more about what to expect in the planning process and can make it that much easier for you to approach your next steps. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming to move forward with an estate plan, but working directly with a dedicated estate planning attorney can increase your level of comfort overall.
A NJ estate planning lawyer can help you with this process.