If you are incapacitated due to an accident or the onset of dementia, it may be unclear what treatments and interventions should occur for your medical care. Without a living will, healthcare providers or a lawyer will have to decide about your care. Your family may also be left with the burden of making life-altering medical decisions about your care that you would not choose for yourself.
In New Jersey, you can put together a living will as enforced and governed by the New Jersey Department of Health. A living will is an advance directive that gives your healthcare providers and family instructions on how you want to be treated if you become incapacitated. By creating a living will in NJ, you can ensure your wishes are respected by your family and doctors.
How to Create a Living Will With a Family Law Lawyer
A living will in NJ becomes effective when a healthcare provider determines you lack the mental capacity to make your own medical decisions. However, making sure the living will is up-to-date can relieve concerns about how your medical care will be handled.
1. Specify Your Medical Treatment
You can specify what types of clinical treatment you would like or do not want. You can also include directions on:
- Organ donation
- Any life-prolonging medical care like tube-feeding
- Your refusal to receive medical care such as do-not-resuscitate orders
2. Get Two Witnesses
Two adult witnesses over the age of 18 who are not your health representatives must witness you sign the living will. The witnesses can also be a notary public, judge, or lawyer experienced in managing wills. They must confirm you are of sound mind and are not under duress or undue influence.
3. Create Audio and Video Recordings
You can use audio and video recordings as a way to supplement your living will, providing clarity for family members and healthcare providers on how you would like them to carry out medical treatment. These recordings could be helpful if a healthcare provider needs definite information about what they should do next when caring for you or if family members are unsure about instructions left in the living will.
Who Can Get a Copy of My Living Will?
If you have an accident or similar health problem that leaves you incapacitated, your spouse and adult children receive copies of your living will. You should also share these with close family members and current healthcare providers in case there are complications later on.
You should also ensure the healthcare providers and staff members in your nursing home or current assisted living facility have copies of these documents. Be sure to keep track of who has a copy of the living will.
Learn More About How to Create Your Living Will
In your living will, it is vital to summarize your end-of-care wishes clearly, so that you receive the necessary medical treatment and are cared for accordingly. Working with an experienced living will attorney can make all the difference when it comes time for drafting this legal document. They can address your concerns about how to create a living will in New Jersey and guide you through the process, ensuring you and your family have peace of mind.
Contact Lyons & Associates, P.C. today to schedule a free consultation to start creating your living will in NJ.