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What is the Difference Between Living Wills and Healthcare Surrogates?

What is the Difference Between Living Wills and Healthcare Surrogates?

Although the functions of a healthcare surrogate designation and a living will are similar, they operate in different ways. Both of these options will allow you to state your wishes regarding the healthcare you would want if you were to ever become incapacitated and incapable of making these decisions yourself. However, there are some slight variations between the two.

A Healthcare Surrogate

A healthcare surrogate is an individual you appoint to make medical and healthcare decisions on your behalf. Also referred to as a durable power of attorney for healthcare, this appointed individual has the power to withdraw, request, or withhold lifesaving or life-sustaining treatments if you become incapacitated. Of course, this is a substantial amount of responsibility for the person you appoint, so you must be confident in your choice. The person you choose as your healthcare surrogate should have a good understanding of your wishes in numerous medical situations, including artificial nutrition and hydration, resuscitation, and your standards for quality of life.

Choosing a healthcare surrogate who knows what your wishes are can help ensure any medical decisions made on your behalf are based on your values.

A Living Will

Unlike a healthcare surrogate, which allows you to appoint the person of your choosing, a living will outlines your medical wishes for your doctors to follow. You can state numerous medical treatments and lifesaving care you wish to be applied in certain situations. However, in that respect, a living will is somewhat limiting. If your living will does not cover a particular medical situation, someone who knows you well enough will have to interpret what you might have wanted and there is no guarantee the decisions he or she makes is aligned with your wishes.

Ultimately, it is wise to have one of these options in place to ensure the right medical decisions are made on your behalf if you can no longer make them yourself. If you have someone in your life whom you trust and believe understands your wishes, a healthcare surrogate might be in your best interests. If not, consider thoroughly articulating your medical wishes in a living will.

Do Not Hesitate to Reach Out to a Knowledgeable Estate Planning Attorney Today!

No one can ever know what the future holds. Although we all hope to stay healthy and capable of making our own healthcare decisions, it is not always possible. To ensure your healthcare wishes are respected, consider a living will or designating a healthcare surrogate to make decisions on your behalf. At Rivera Aguilar Law Firm, P.A., our estate planning team has the knowledge and experience to help you make the right choice for your circumstances, so you can have the peace of mind you deserve.

Get started on designating a healthcare surrogate or creating a living will today by reaching out to Rivera Aguilar Law Firm, P.A. at (954) 909-0117 to set up a consultation. We provide services in both English and Spanish.