Estate planning is not only about deciding what should happen after you die. You should also consider what would happen if you were to become permanently incapacitated. With a health care living will, you have the opportunity to both give instructions about the health care you want to receive in this scenario and designate someone to act as your health care proxy.
The Minnesota Legislature requires that a health care living will must follow the form that it provides. It also describes what a living will requires of you, your health care providers and your proxy, if you have one.
How long does the health care living will remain valid?
The document remains valid until you either revoke it altogether or make amendments to it. You can change to your living will at any time, and you should review it periodically to ensure it reflects your wishes. You should inform your health care providers of any changes made to your living will.
When does a living will take effect?
The living will takes effect when you are unable to make decisions on your own behalf due to a terminal condition.
What rights and duties does a health care proxy have?
If you name a health care proxy in your living will, which is optional, that person has a right to examine your medical records and consent to their disclosure. However, you have the right to limit this ability in your living will.
The proxy has a duty act in a way that is consistent with your expressed wishes or, if not known, to act in your interest.