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Moorestown NJ Living Will Attorney

Why Do I  Need a Living Will in Moorestown NJ?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you were unable to speak for yourself about your medical care?

Imagine a situation where an accident or illness leaves you unconscious. In such cases, difficult medical decisions might need to be made about treatments and procedures. A living will can ensure your wishes are heard, even when you can’t speak for yourself.

Living Wills are legal documents that state your medical treatment and intervention preferences if you cannot communicate or make healthcare decisions. It speaks out for you when you need it, telling doctors and loved ones what medical care you want.

Quick Summary:

  • What is a Living Will?
      • A living will is a legal document that outlines your medical care preferences when you can’t communicate for yourself.
  • Difference Between Living Will and Regular Will
      • Living Will: Focuses on medical care while alive but unable to communicate.
      • Regular Will: Addresses distribution of assets after passing away.
  • What Does a Living Will Cover?
      • Addresses specific medical choices such as resuscitation, life support, pain management, and organ donation.
      • Can be tailored to your preferences, providing flexibility in decision-making.
  • Requirements for Validity in New Jersey
      • Completion of a living will form, signed in the presence of two adult witnesses.
      • Notarization is optional but recommended for added assurance.
  • Will Doctors Follow My Living Will?
      • Yes, doctors in New Jersey are legally obligated to adhere to your valid living will whenever possible.
  • Can I Change My Mind About the Living Will?
      • Absolutely, your living will is flexible and can be updated to reflect changes in medical wishes or circumstances.

What is a Living Will?

A living will is a legal document that acts as your voice in a situation where you can’t speak for yourself about your medical care

Here’s a breakdown of what a living will does:

  • Outlines your wishes: You can specify if you want life support like breathing machines or feeding tubes used if you have a terminal illness or are in a permanent coma.
  • Reduces burden on loved ones: In a stressful time, your family won’t have to guess what you would want. The living will provides clear instructions.
  • Ensures your wishes are respected: Doctors are legally obligated to follow your living will whenever possible.

What’s the Difference Between a Living Will and a Regular Will?

Both living wills and regular wills are important estate planning documents, but they serve very different purposes. Here’s a breakdown to clear up any confusion:

  • Living Will: This document focuses on your medical care while you are still alive but unable to communicate your wishes due to illness or injury. It outlines your preferences for treatments like life support or pain medication.
  • Regular Will (Last Will and Testament): This document deals with what happens to your belongings (assets) after you pass away.  It specifies who inherits your money, property, and other possessions.

Here’s an easy way to remember the difference:

  • Living Will: Living = applies while you’re alive.
  • Regular Will: Deals with what happens after your last breath.

What Does a Living Will Cover?

A living will is a flexible document. You can be as specific or general as you feel comfortable with in outlining your wishes.  If there’s a particular treatment you’re unsure about, you can always discuss it with your doctor and include your decision in the living will.

Here are some common medical choices a living will can address:

    • Do Not Resuscitate Order: A ‘do not resuscitate’ order, also called a DNR, allows people to choose not to have CPR performed on them in certain situations.
    • Life Support: This includes machines that help you breathe (ventilators) or machines that filter your blood (dialysis). Your living will can specify if you want these used or not, depending on the circumstances.
    • Pain Management: You can express your preferences for pain medication, even if it might shorten your life expectancy in certain situations.
    • Artificial Hydration and Nutrition: This refers to feeding tubes or intravenous (IV) fluids. Your living will can state your wishes for receiving these if you’re unable to eat or drink on your own.
    • Antibiotics and Other Treatments: You can give general guidelines about your wishes for using antibiotics or other treatments to fight infections, especially if they have limited effectiveness.
    • Organ Donation: You can outline whether you want to donate your organs to those that might need it. 

What Makes a Living Will Valid in New Jersey?

1. Completion of a Living Will Form:

  • You’ll need to fill out a living will form, which outlines your medical care preferences. These forms are typically available from hospitals, doctor’s offices, or online through reputable healthcare organizations.

2. Signature and Witnesses:

  • Once completed, you’ll need to sign the form in the presence of two adult witnesses (over 18 years old).
  • Important: These witnesses cannot be the same person you designate as your healthcare proxy (the person who makes medical decisions for you if you can’t).

3. Notarization (Optional):

  • While not required by New Jersey law, you can choose to have your living will notarized for added peace of mind. A notary public is an official who verifies the identity of the person signing the document.

Will Doctors Follow My Living Will?

Yes! In New Jersey, doctors are legally obligated to follow your valid living will whenever possible.

Can I Change My Mind About the Living Will?

Absolutely! You Can Change Your Mind About Your Living Will

Your living will is a flexible document that reflects your current medical wishes.  Life circumstances and medical advancements can change, and your living will should reflect that.

Why Do I Need a Moorestown NJ Living Will Attorney?

A Moorestown NJ living will attorney can help you create and manage your will for several reasons. A Moorestown NJ living will attorney can help for these reasons:

  • Legal Guidance

Living wills are legal documents with jurisdictional distinctions. Living will attorneys in Moorestown, NJ, know the local laws and can verify your document is legal.

  • Customization

An attorney can help you tailor your living will to your needs. They can assist you in using appropriate terminology and evaluating medical scenarios.

  • Updates and Revisions

Your living will may need to be updated if your circumstances change. A living will attorney can help you update the document to reflect your current wishes.

  • Integration with Other Estate Planning Documents: 

An attorney can help you integrate other estate planning documents like a will or power of attorney into a holistic strategy for your future.

A basic living will can be created without an attorney, but legal advice can ensure that your document is legally binding and appropriately reflects your objectives. Talk to a reputable Moorestown NJ living will attorney for personalized counsel if you have specific questions.

Call our Moorestown NJ Living Will Attorney Now!

In difficult circumstances, a Moorestown NJ Living Will Attorney can help you create a personalized living will. Posternock Apell, P.C., led by experienced lawyers Robyn Goldenberg and Dan Posternock, understands the emotional toll of your decisions and is committed to guiding you through the process.

Life is unpredictable and circumstances change. Our lawyers understand this and provide ongoing support. Robyn Goldenberg and Dan Posternock help with updates, revisions, and estate planning document integration. We strive to keep your living will current with your changing preferences and smoothly integrated with your estate planning approach.

Imagine the peace of mind of having a Moorestown NJ living will attorney to protect your preferences during unexpected health issues. Beyond living wills, Posternock Apell, P.C. provides complete and reliable Real Estate, Litigation, and Special Education legal services.

Ready to safeguard your healthcare choices? Contact Posternock Apell, P.C. now for personalized Living Will creation and management. Let us help you protect your future. Contact us now to ensure your living will support your future healthcare choices.