Q: What is a Living Will?
A: Living wills are referred to as health care directives under Minnesota law. A health care directive is a written legal document which indicates your wishes regarding health care. The document is legally binding only in the event you are unable to make health care decisions for yourself.
What is usually written in a Health Care Directive?
A: A health care directive usually has two parts. In the first part, you usually appoint the person or people who you want to make health care decisions for you in the event you are unable to make those decision yourself. In the second part, you usually indicate whether you want, or do not want, certain types of life-sustaining procedures, including, but not limited to:
--the artificial supply of food or hydration,
--heart-lung resuscitation (CPR)
--kidney dialysis, and/or
Q: What happens if I do not have a Health Care Directive?
A: If you do not have a health care directive and you become incapacitated, you will still receive medical treatement. Your health care providers will consult family members and people close to you to determine your will.
Q: Can I make a Health Care Directive?
A: Any competent adult over 18 years of age can make a health care directive. You must sign your health care directive in the presence of two witnesses or a notary public.
Q: Are Health Care Directives legally binding?
A: If you follow the rules, your health care directive will be legally binding. If your health care provider cannot honor any part of your health care directive, the agent(s) designated in your health care directive must be informed and your agent must be allowed to transfer you to another provider who can honor your health care directive.
Q: What if I change my mind about my Health Care Directive?
A: Your health care directive only becomes enforceable when you are unable to make your own health care decisions. Until then, you can make your own decisions regarding your medical care, regardless of what is written in your health care directive. Also, you can cancel your health care directive at any time.
Q: Do I need an attorney to make a Health Care Directive?
A: You do not need an attorney to make a health care directive. However, to ensure your health care directive is properly executed, enforceable, and consistent with your other estate planning materials, you should consult an attorney
If you have any questions regarding Health Care Directives or any other estate planning needs, please call 651-292-8770 or email us.