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Frequently Asked Questions And Answers for:

Living Will Declaration

  1. WHAT IS A LIVING WILL DECLARATION? -- This is a legal document expressing that if you are diagnosed to be terminally ill, without hope of recovery, then it is your intention that doctor, hospital and other medical support be withheld from you if such support will only prolong the inevitable dying process. In Arizona this document goes into effect only if you are then unable to make or communicate this decision for yourself.

  2. WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE OF HAVING A LIVING WILL DECLARATION? -- This document clearly indicates the client's intention not to have life prolonged if it unnecessarily perpetuates the inevitable dying process. It therefore can avoid prolonging your death when no meaningful life exists and prevents the expense and use of medical resources to unnecessarily sustain life.

  3. WHO ACTUALLY IMPLEMENTS THE LIVING WILL DECLARATION? -- If you have appointed a medical power of attorney, your medical attorney in fact should ensure that the wish you have expressed in the declaration is carried out. You should also make sure that your medical attorney in fact and principal physician also has a photocopy of this document.

  4. ARE THERE ANY DISADVANTAGES TO HAVING A LIVING WILL DECLARATION? -- If you have decided that you do not want the extraordinary, unnecessary, life prolonging services withheld, then nothing is wrong with signing the durable power of attorney. The document can be (and usually is) drafted so that foods and fluids can be provided to you for comfort care, but not to otherwise artificially prolong the dying process.

  5. WHAT WILL IT COST ME TO HAVE A WILL PREPARED BY AN ATTORNEY? -- Assuming you wish to have your Living Will prepared by Arizona licensed, experienced, estate planning attorneys, rather than the many lesser (and cheaper) alternatives, expenses to prepare one vary by location in the greater Phoenix area. Expect to pay more for plans prepared by the larger (downtown) Phoenix law firms as well as firms in east Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Carefree, and Tempe; lower charges can generally be expected elsewhere in the county. Generally a simple power of attorney, which may also be combined with a medical power of attorney, begins about $50 per client.

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