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Does a Living Will Guarantee that Doctors will Honor my Wishes Concerning End-of-life Decisions?

Most individuals in Las Vegas, and throughout Nevada, need to address a variety of estate planning issues in order to put legal documents in place that will help protect them and their families from unexpected events. Just as wills and trusts protect your assets, living wills protect your health concerns — by ensuring that medical providers respect your personal choices regarding the life-saving measures they take to prolong your life when your condition is terminal. However, in some cases, a living will alone does not ensure that medical providers will follow your wishes.

Patients have rights that they may not recognize, which is why the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services helps enforce state legislation that requires  Medicare and Medicate facilities to notify patients of their rights to make health care decisions. A detailed document containing Patient Information on Nevada State Law Concerning Advanced Directives explains the many decisions patients can make regarding their own health treatment. However, while patients have the option of making these choices and signing the appropriate documents at the time they receive treatment, they cannot make these choices at the time of treatment if they are unconscious or otherwise incapacitated.

Individuals who create living wills in Henderson and Boulder City, and throughout the state, are taking an important first step by determining how doctors will administer treatment. However, a basic living will can be open to interpretation by doctors, who may initiate treatment against patient wishes. By designating a trusted individual to make end-of-life decisions, within a living will, you can substantially strengthen the ability of the document to protect your wishes. However, most people should also strongly consider creating a durable health care power of attorney, to designate someone to make their health care decisions.

With more than three decades of estate planning experience, the attorneys at Tyrell Law, PLLC take a holistic approach to ensure that you and your family have the full protection needed against unexpected events. We take the time to carefully analyze your unique situation, and recommend the options that make the most sense for you. Contact us to learn how we can help.

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