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.
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This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified estate planning lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local estate planning attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.