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Insight Law handles all Will, Trust, Probate and Estate Planning Matters. Call for a free consultation at (206) 397-4780.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Making Sense of Health Care Directives, Living Wills, and Advance Directives

Depending on what state you live in, you may have heard many terms to describe a document that essentially states what your decisions are in the event of your death or if you are in a terminal condition. The variety of different terms can be confusing.  

Generally, in Washington State, attorneys refer to a document that states your decisions in the event of a terminal illness or your death as a Health Care Directive.  However, Health Care Directives have many other names:

The titles of these documents are not as important as making sure that your documents state your decisions. So, for example, before you panic because you do not have a living will,  read through your legal documents to determine whether they address all of the decisions you face in the event of a terminal illness or your death:

These decisions include:
  • whether or not you would like artificially-provided nutrition and hydration if you are in a terminal condition,
  • whether or not you would like to be an organ donor,
  • who you wish to act as your attorney-in-fact to make health care decisions for you,
  • whether you wish to be cremated or buried, and how,
  • whether you would like a funeral, wake, or other type of service, and how
If all of these decisions are covered with your existing legal documents, then you can feel relatively confident that you have all the documents you need. If not, feel free to contact us to discuss what documents you need to fill in these gaps.

As always, I'm here to answer your questions.  Call me at (206) 923-9356 or email me at
Alerian Hall is an estate planning attorney in Seattle, Washington.   Alerian Hall’s financial expertise (she was previously a financial advisor) enables her to provide a truly comprehensive and tailored estate plans for her clients. 

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