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Does my mom's "do not resuscitate" living will count as a durable power of attorney incase she can't make decisions on her own?

Honolulu, HI |

My mother has a living will and my sister and I have a "life estate" in her house. If she ever cannot make medical decisions on her own, does the fact that the "do not resuscitate" phrase in her will allow me or my sister to make decisions for her (such as long term care options?) THANKS!

Attorney Answers 3

  1. A living will and a health care power of attorney are two different documents.

    A living will (aka "advanced directives") typically provided guidance on what medical care the person wants or does not want.

    A power of attorney grants powers to one or more persons to act as the agent of the grantor.

    If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.

  2. No. You need to have a Durable Power of attorney in order to act on your mother's behalf. If she is no longer capable of signing such a form, then your alternative would be to seek probate court appointment as her guardian. You may also need to be appointed her conservators, if you need to make financial decisions for your mother.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

  3. Sometimes the health care power of attorney and advance directive are treated together in one document, many times they are separate. The document, in order to be a power of attorney, would have to say something like "I am the principal, and I name X to be my agent."

    This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website:

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