How Is A Living Will Different From A Durable Power Of Attorney For Health Care?

The primary differences between the Living Will and the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care are that the Living Will applies only when a physician has determined that the patient suffers from a terminal, incurable or irreversible condition and death is imminent. The Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care allows the agent to make decisions anytime the patient is unable to make decisions on his/her own behalf. The Living Will declares specific treatment decisions, where the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care names an agent to make the decisions for the patient. Note: specific instructions may be given to the agent in the Durable Power of Attorney form, if desired.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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