Before medical procedures, you may have been asked if you have a living will by your doctor or other medical providers. Most medical providers will ask if a patient has a living will because the terms of that living will could affect medical treatment in the case of an emergency. A living will in Oklahoma, also known as a health care power of attorney or a medical directive, is a document that states in detail the medical treatment that you want in specific situations. It also designates who can make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make those decisions for yourself.
The purpose of a living will in Oklahoma is to make healthcare decisions while you are healthy and clear-minded. If you are dealing with a serious, life-threatening injury or condition, it may be difficult to make decisions with just a few seconds or minutes to think about what you want in terms of healthcare. Furthermore, if you are in a vegetative state or otherwise incapacitated, you are not able to make those decisions for yourself. Having a living will ensures that your wishes will be carried out with regard to your healthcare.
Choosing Someone You Trust
If you are critically ill or in a coma or vegetative state, you are not able to communicate your wishes regarding healthcare to your medical providers. Someone must step in, speak for you, and make decisions about your healthcare. In many cases, this may involve deciding whether to place you on life support, to resuscitate you or to provide nourishment.
With a living will in Oklahoma, you can communicate your desires to your family and doctors about your wishes for the medical treatment that you want versus the medical treatment that you do not want, even if you are dying. For example, if you do not want to be hooked up to life support (i.e. ventilators), a living will is the best way to ensure that this does not happen.
To make sure that your wishes are carried out, you should name someone you trust to stand in your place to make decisions on your behalf. However, having a detailed outline of your healthcare directives in a living will gives your representative a clear plan to ensure that your healthcare wishes are followed until the very end.
It is very emotional to make decisions that you know may result in the death of a loved one. However, when your loved one has a living will stating exactly what he or she desires, following those wishes is often less emotional than making the decision without knowing for sure what your loved one would want if he or she could speak. By having a living will, you remove the burden and responsibility of making life and death decisions off the shoulders of your loved ones. You have made the decisions already and those decisions can now simply be carried out without any discussion, argument or doubts about what you desire for your healthcare.
Steps for Drafting a Living Will in Oklahoma
The first step in drafting a living will in Oklahoma is to meet with your doctors to discuss questions you may have about medical treatments that you would want to decline in the event of a life or death situation. This would include a “Do Not Resuscitate” order (meaning if you die, the medical staff will not use any means to bring you back), as well as medical treatments you would want to be performed.
Once you have a clear idea of the medical decisions you want to set forth in a living will, you need to meet with an experienced Tulsa living will attorney who can help you draft a living will that includes all of the elements to make it enforceable and binding.
After your living will has been signed, you should give copies to the person you appoint to carry out your healthcare wishes, close family members and your family doctor. Giving copies to your family helps avoid potential problems because they will already know your desires and be prepared in the event that something happens.
Because a living will is such an important decision, you want an attorney who has expertise in drafting living wills. By choosing an attorney who has experience with living wills, you will receive clear and trustworthy explanations and advice about making medical decisions regarding your future.
Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney in Tulsa
When you need the services of an experienced estate planning attorney, call Oklahoma Will & Trust. Tulsa Estate Attorney Earl D. Lawson has the experience and knowledge to assist you with all of your estate planning and probate needs, including drafting a living will in Oklahoma. As a skilled Tulsa wills attorney, Earl D. Lawson knows the advantages of protecting your estate and ensuring that your wishes are followed.
Contact an experienced Oklahoma wills attorney today for a free consultation about the best approach to protecting your legacy. Call (918) 876-4500 to schedule your free consultation. We are conveniently located at 201 W. Fifth Street, Suite 404 in Tulsa, OK.