Living Wills

Your end of life care should be determined by you. Just because your spouse is your spouse does not give him or her legal authority to make these important life decisions for you. You must designate them as your agent in a document that you sign. By creating a Living Will you:

  1. appoint an agent of your choosing to communicate with medical providers your express wishes regarding end of life medical care and treatment;
  2. give your agent detail instructions of your wishes;
  3. avoid legal proceedings by family members who disagree.

If you do not sign a Living Will and/or Durable Power of Attorney For Health Care then, in the event of your incapacity, a guardian will be appointed for you by the Probate court. This means:

  1. A legal proceeding in the probate court that can be costly;
  2. Family members are notified and have an opportunity to object to the petition;
  3. You will be appointed an attorney to represent you;
  4. The process takes time, is expensive and opens the door for family feuds and expensive litigation.

The information provided herein is for general purposes only and does not to purport to give specific advice on individual matters. If you want individual advice, contact Mary Howie, an Elder Law and Estate Planning attorney practicing in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Attorney Howie also holds a master's degree in business administration and finance. Call her at (603) 893-8008.