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What is the Five Wishes Health Care Directive?

If you have been researching living wills or are considering drafting one of your own, you may have come across information on a document called Five Wishes. Five Wishes is an advance health care directive, which includes a living will but also includes more personal specifics of how a person wants to spend the end of their life.

Creating a living will can be an extremely important document, especially if you have strong feelings about medical treatment and life support. A living will simply allows you to specify how you want to be medically treated, if at all, when you are seriously ill or otherwise unable to communicate your wishes. The Five Wishes document takes this a few steps further by helping you outline where you want to be treated, who you want to be there, what kind of ceremony you would like to have when you pass away, and more.

The Five Wishes

Appropriately named, the Five Wishes advanced health care directive contains five specific wishes that any person may want to consider when severely ill. In the document the five wishes that you will be asked to provide details on are:

Wish #1: Who you want to hold “power of attorney” and be in charge of making decisions for you if you are not capable of making them yourself.
Wish #2: The type of medical treatment you would like and the extent to which you want to be treated.
Wish #3: The type of comforts you want when you are ill, such as whether or not you want to be given pain medication.
Wish #4: Who you want to be present when you become seriously ill, and where you would like to be treated.
Wish #5: What your last wishes are, who you would like to carry these out, and any other information you would like to pass on.

Why You May Need a Lawyer

Different states have different legal requirements for using a Five Wishes directive. A probate lawyer will advise you on how to fill out and legally file such a document in your state. He or she can also outline the possible legal scenarios you may need to consider in case you become gravely ill. Having a legal advisor can help to ensure that you are well prepared for any medical situation that you may face later in life.

For Legal Advice

The Five Wishes advance health care directive is one of many ways that you may file a living will and start preparing for what may come. For more information and assistance with drafting a living will, please visit the website of experienced Austin probate lawyers Slater Kennon & Jameson, LLP here.

Joseph Devine

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