There are often two documents offered for end of life care – a living will or a durable healthcare power of attorney. We highly recommend having a healthcare power of attorney instead of a living will.

Living wills express your wishes about potential treatments in different health scenarios. It deals in hypothetical situations and goes into effect if you become unconscious or unable to make your own healthcare decisions. Most often it ends up being interpreted by doctors and healthcare providers to make decisions about your end of life care. Unfortunately, hypotheticals do not cover all the potential end of life scenarios, which can result in different interpretations of a patient’s wishes.

The more prudent option is to establish a healthcare power of attorney which names an “agent” to make decisions on your behalf in the event you become temporarily or permanently unable to do so for yourself. In this case, you can name a trusted family member or friend who understands your wishes to make decisions for you, depending on the circumstances of the situation.

Click here to fill out an Ohio healthcare power of attorney form.  It is best to seek professional advice before filling out any end of life forms.