A health care proxy and a living will are both directives used by individuals to control the medical treatment they receive in the event that they become incapable of making or communicating health care decisions in the future.
A living will sets for the specific written instructions that you have regarding your treatment preferences in various hypothetical medical situations. Living wills tend to focus on end-of-life situations and decisions about pursuing or terminating treatment, including life-sustaining measures.
It is NOT legally enforceable in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts gives explicit recognition and protections only to health care proxies. So why should you have a Living Will in Massachusetts? Your Health Care Agent has the ultimate authority regarding end of life care, but a living will is a good source of guidance for your family, doctors and your Health Care Agent.
Your Living Will should be updated every 3-5 years or as soon as possible after a major life event (i.e. marriage, divorce, birth of a child, death of a family member, etc.)
Have questions or concerns about your estate planning? Contact us to discuss further:
E.M. Curran & Associates LLC