Living Wills & Healthcare Surrogates
A living will and a healthcare surrogate are both types of advance healthcare directives. A healthcare surrogate designates a person of your choice to make health care decisions (not just in terminal illness) for you if you cannot speak for yourself. A living will is an expression of your desires regarding end of life care, specifically as to whether you would want life-sustaining treatment in the event of terminal illness or permanent unconsciousness. Life-sustaining treatment includes assisted mechanical breathing (respirators) and artificial feeding and hydration through a tube.
A Living Will and a Healthcare Surrogate is part of a complete estate plan. Planning for medical decision making in the event of possible future incapacity is one of the best things you can do for your family.