Washington State Living Will Laws

 By: Nicholas Copernicus
It is your right to make your own healthcare decisions in Washington State. The decisions you make can be as simple as the type of meals you would like, or as difficult as choosing whether or not to receive life-sustaining treatments.

If you become incapacitated how can you be sure that your healthcare decisions will be honored? If you plan now, with the help of a living will (advance directive) you can make your healthcare decisions known in advance incase you become incapacitated.

Washington State law enables the following people to make healthcare decisions for you should you lose the ability to communicate and make decisions. A guardian with healthcare decision-making authority, if appointed; The person appointed in your durable power of attorney with healthcare decision-making authority; Your spouse; Your adult children; Your parents; and your adult brothers and sisters.

In Washington State once your living will (advance directive) is registered, you are registered for life. After you register, annually you'll receive an update form so that your information will always be current. This service is provided free of charge.

After your living will form is registered, you will receive a letter by mail from the U.S. Living Will Registry that contains labels to attach to your driver's license and insurance card. These labels state that you are registered with the U.S. Living Will Registry. As soon as you are registered your documents and emergency contact information is available to healthcare providers all over the country. This is to ensure your wishes are available wherever and whenever they are needed.

Once your done registering the living will you'll want to keep the documents in an accessible place for safekeeping. You may also want to consider planning your estate by filing a last will form. A last will gives you the ability to make advanced arrangements for the distribution of your estate in the event of your death.
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Making a will can be an emotionally challenging experience. The fallout from a poorly or provocatively worded will can cause a huge amount of pain for those you love, and can lead to schisms that would cause you no small amount of heartache if you were to witness them. The importance of getting a will just right is all the more important because you cannot be called back to iron out any inconsistencies in the wording - or any omissions.
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