The power of a POA

N1701 P27004 C

By Patricia Nugent

Last month we covered the importance of having a healthcare power of attorney for your adult children who are away at college. This month we’ll discuss another healthcare directive that’s equally important to have: a living will.

“Like a healthcare power of attorney, the purpose of a living will is to grant authority to make medical decisions,” says local elder care attorney Margaret T. Karl. “It comes into play if a person is incapacitated, unconscious or even on heavy medication and unable to speak, giving guidance to doctors and/or healthcare surrogates about their end-of-life care wishes, whether that means life support, tube feeding or comfort care.”

Surprisingly, only about 45% of adults in this country have a living will in place.

Drafting one is surprisingly hassle-free. The process usually only takes two half-hour visits with Margie.

“Living wills aren’t just for senior citizens,” she adds. “Any adult would gain peace of mind knowing their wishes would be carried out if they were unable to make decisions on their own. If everything is spelled out, you can take comfort in knowing your family isn’t forced to guess about these decisions. It’s like a gift to the people you love most.”

Margaret T. Karl, Attorney at Law, is located at 25800 North Depot Street, Suite 102, in Olmsted Falls. Call 440-782-5051 or visit