Preparing Your Will, Living Will, and Power of Attorney
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it may be best to prepare your will. You should also think about having an attorney prepare a living will and a durable power of attorney for healthcare.
Although progress is being made in the diagnosis and treatment of malignant mesothelioma, sadly, it is still a terminal illness. Disability and death often follow quickly after diagnosis. A durable power of attorney for healthcare and a living will allow you and those you love and trust to determine the type of treatment you will receive if you become incapacitated. A will allows you, rather than the state, decide who will inherit your property. These legal documents can go a long way toward restoring your peace of mind.
A durable power of attorney for healthcare
If you become unable to make your own healthcare decisions, in the state of Texas, a durable power of attorney for healthcare permits a trusted family member or close friend to determine the course of your medical treatment, based on your wishes.
The decisions that the person you designate can make on your behalf include refusing to hook you up to life support systems, or terminating existing life support systems should your outlook for survival deteriorate. Your agent may not make mental health decisions nor may your agent refuse any medical care primarily intended to provide for your comfort.
If you wish, you may choose to have more than one person, for example, your spouse with the help of one or all of your children, make these decisions, designating all of them as your agents.
A living will
If your health deteriorates to the point that the use of life-sustaining measures will serve only to artificially prolong the moment of death, you may wish to die naturally rather than hooked up to machines or given drugs or other measures aimed solely at keeping you alive rather than keeping you comfortable. In the state of Texas, a directive to physicians, better known as a living will, lets you decide how you will die. It instructs your doctors to withhold life-sustaining measures when the end is inevitable, letting you die with dignity, if this is your choice.
How you wish to be treated at the end of your life is a very personal decision. It is not a decision that you would willingly let a court decide for you. Nor is it a decision to be made by close family members making assumptions about what you want – and perhaps fighting over what they believe is right. You are the one who truly knows what is right for you.
A living will lets your loved ones know what your wishes are. It saves them from second-guessing themselves if they are asked to make life-and-death decisions about your care without any input from you. And it saves you needless suffering, should your health deteriorate to the point where you can no longer make your wishes known.
You can change your mind and revoke a living will even during the final stages of your illness.
In the state of Texas, if you die intestate, that is, without a will, state law determines who inherits all the property you’ve worked so hard for. A will lets you decide who inherits your property. A properly drafted will can help your beneficiaries avoid certain administration and court costs which may be incurred if you die without a will.
If you live in Texas, and wish to discuss making a will or having a durable power of attorney for healthcare or a living will prepared, you should call Williams Kherkher trusts and estates attorney James E. Soto at 713-230-2244. He has the expertise to walk you through every step of the process. Like all our attorneys, Jim will take the time to counsel you and make sure your wishes are clearly understood.
Williams Kherkher handles mesothelioma lawsuits in all U.S. states. However, when it comes to wills and similar documents, you should have an attorney in your home state draw up these documents. Jim may be able to direct you to a trusts and estates lawyer in your home state.