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Boston Living Will

Health Care Directives, more commonly referred to as Living Wills, give instructions on what medical treatment you wish to have if your health is at a point where you are incapacitated and are unable to communicate.

You typically see these directives utilized when there is a terminal illness or injury.

With a living will, some individuals want it made clear they do not want any life-support treatment that prolongs their eventual death, while others want every treatment available to extend their life.

By having the Health Care Directive in place, you are anticipating an event that might occur which places you in a condition where there is little chance of recovery, such as:

  • A permanent unconscious state – also known as a vegetative state.
  • A conscious state but with irreversible brain damage.
  • A Terminal Illness or condition.

In Massachusetts, a living will has little legal significance. In fact, the Commonwealth has not passed any living will laws to protect an individual’s right to refuse medical treatment.

But having a living will does two things that will insure your wishes are carried out, regardless if the state recognizes the living will or not.

First, it directs your health care proxy to carry out your wishes.

And secondly, it directs your physicians on exactly what steps to take. More importantly, they follow it, even though no law on the books directs them to do so.

I highly recommend you have a Living Will in place. In fact, I make sure it is in place as part of every estate planning package I do.

If you need assistance in drafting a detailed Massachusetts Living Will, or would like to discuss an effective estate plan, give me a call at (617) 273-5110 or e-mail me here: [mailto][/mailto]