Many in Central Kentucky don’t know the difference between a Living Will and a Power of Attorney. Power of Attorney documents create a legal right to make decisions on behalf of another, to basically step into the shoes of that person. A Living Will on the other hand grants someone the right to make health care decisions for another. Take a look at 3 fast facts about Living Wills in Kentucky.
You can leave instructions
A Living Will allows you to leave instructions regarding your health care in four major areas It allows you to designate a health care surrogate, refuse or request life prolonging treatment, refuse or request artificial feeding or hydration (tube feeding) and express wished of organ donation. When you complete a living will and have it properly filed with the court, the instructions left for your health care surrogate can then be shared with your doctors. Give your family peace of mind and provide them with a written copy of your wishes in the form of a Kentucky Living Will.
Kentucky Living Wills are suspended during pregnancy
If you do have a living will and are incapacitated while pregnant, Kentucky law allows medical professionals to suspend the living will during the pregnancy. The life of the fetus is protected in this instance by laws drafted by the Commonwealth so a DNR (do not resuscitate) wish listed in a living will is likely to be ignored by attending physicians and medical professionals. To follow the living will holder’s wishes in that instance would place the doctors at risk of legal action.
Kentucky isn’t the only state with such laws on the books, however other states have permissive language where Kentucky simply suspends the living will during the pregnancy.
You are not required to make a Living Will
While a living will is not required in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, elder law attorneys recommend that you have documents in place to provide peace of mind and protections for you and your family. Without an instruction booklet for your family, loved ones may struggle with making difficult medical decisions. It is a gift to provide guidance to your family and clearly express your wishes.
To learn more about Power of Attorney please click here.
Have more questions about a Living Wills and how to get one? Contact the A.M. Brown Law Office for a free phone consultation at 859-359-6370. Or you can contact us online to set up an in office consultation.