An Advance Directive, or a living will as it is sometimes referred to, is a set of instructions prepared by a person specifying what actions should be taken on his or her behalf in the event that he or she is unable to make decisions due to illness or incapacity. Although, as current law stands, such a document is not legally binding in Massachusetts, it does however provide the Health Care Agent with some guidance as to what a person’s feelings are about these sensitive matters.
It is important to note that the United States Supreme Court has made it clear in Cruzan v. Missouri that there must be “clear and convincing” evidence expressing a person’s wishes for removal of life support. Without that expression, such as that in an advance directive, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can require the person be kept alive through whatever means are necessary.
Here are some things to consider when preparing an advance directive with your attorney:
Having your wishes stated ahead of time can help make things a bit easier for your family during a difficult time.
Peter A. Moustakis is the founder of Moustakis Law LLC
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Please note that the information contained in this blog is not an exhaustive list of the matters pertaining to the discussion. Every person has a unique situation that must be tailored with the advice of an attorney after consultation. The material published on this blog is made available by the Moustakis Law LLC for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Before you make any decision that may have legal implications, you should consult with a qualified legal professional for specific legal advice tailored to your situation. Your visiting this blog does not establish an invitation to enter into, and does not create an attorney client-relationship.