It’s a position no one wants to be in: A loved one has unexpectedly become ill and incapacitated — but there is no way to know exactly what medical treatment they want while they are unconscious. It’s a situation that can quickly tear families apart with disagreements and decisions that can never be reversed.

Fortunately, all this can easily be avoided with simple legal planning. And attorney Kevin Kenney can help you through it all.

Whatever your current situation, it’s a good idea to create a living will as soon as possible. None of us like to think about the possibility of medical handicap or death, but it’s an unavoidable part of life. Putting together a living will can help you rest a little easier — whether you’re a parent with small children, a healthy young individual, or a new retiree.

Attorney Kevin Kenney has assisted many people through this legal process, and he can do the same for you. To learn more about creating a living will and testament with his law team, give them a call at 913-671-8008 or schedule a consultation online.

In the meantime, you can learn a bit more about living wills below, but remember: This information is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

What is a Living Will?

When most people think of wills, they think of a last will and testament, which details exactly which of an individual’s assets will be allocated to which people. A living will is completely different.

A living will — also known as an advance directive or health care directive — has nothing to do with a person’s belongings and post-death desires. Instead, it focuses on the medical treatment they wish to receive should they be unable to express their preferences to their doctors and caregivers. This legal document instructs the maker’s physicians what form(s) of life support, if any, should be used to keep them alive after two doctors have determined they have no appreciable chance of recovery.

Often, a living will addresses a person’s preferences for treatment like:

  • Resuscitation when the heart stops beating
  • Mechanical ventilation when an individual cannot breathe on their own
  • Tube feeding
  • Kidney dialysis
  • Antibiotics or antiviral medication
  • Palliative care
  • Organ and tissue donations
  • Body donation for scientific study

What is the Purpose of a Living Will?

A living will, in short, is designed to eliminate confusion upon a medical tragedy and ensure that your wishes are followed — even when you can’t express them yourself. People often have very different preferences when it comes to end-of-life care; the only way you can make sure yours are respected is by outlining them in a legal document like a living will.

Typically, a living will is accompanied by a healthcare power of attorney. While a living will outlines an individual’s wishes for healthcare, a healthcare power of attorney is the legal document that usually designates an acting agent for those responsibilities. Without one or the other, there can be confusion during a situation in which time is of the essence. For that reason, attorney Kevin Kenney recommends that all his clients interested in living wills also complete a medical power of attorney to reduce complications in the future.

Give Kevin and his team a call today at 913-671-8008 to learn more about how a living will and a healthcare power of attorney work together.

Create Your Living Will in Kansas City Today

Every person’s living will looks different, based on their desires for medical and end-of-life care. For that reason, a free living will “template” you find online simply won’t cut it. In order to create a legally valid document, you need more than a generic living will — you need the assistance of a local wills and estates attorney.

Kevin Kenney fits the bill. As an experienced estate planning attorney in Kansas City, he’s guided many clients through this exact process. When you first contact his law firm, he will schedule an initial consultation with you. During this meeting, he will learn more about your personal estate planning needs and desires, and then you will come up with a legal plan of action together. He will draft and finalize your living will and testament in accordance with state laws and procedures, and he will always be available to make changes due to life updates such as marriages, deaths, births and more.

As he creates your living will in Kansas City, Kevin can also address any other estate planning needs you have. A power of attorney isn’t the only extra step to consider at this point; individuals should also include the following in their will and estate planning processes:

  • Trusts, which allow you to efficiently manage your beneficiaries’ inheritance by entrusting your property to a third party
  • Last wills and testaments, which outline your desires for your property (real estate, bank accounts, personal belongings, and more)
  • Guardianship, which allows you to designate a guardian for your children or dependents upon your death or incapacitation

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Kevin Kenney or his team anytime to learn more and get started. When you’re ready, they will help you make the best living will for your personal needs and desires.