Wills, Living Wills, Powers of Attorney

Wills, living wills and powers of attorney are three important legal documents. They make sure that your wishes for you and your belongings will be followed if you die or become too sick to speak for yourself. Without these documents, family and friends are often left not knowing what to do.

We know it is hard for people to think about these things. But many find that making these decisions not only helps their family and friends know what to do, but they also feel relieved by knowing that their wishes will be followed.

More importantly, you should write down your desires before you become too ill to do so. “Putting it in writing,” as the saying goes, is the best way of ensuring that your end-of-life wishes will be understood and respected when the time comes.

Resources

Your Life Your Decisions: AIDS Law Project Booklet on End of Life Issues Facing Clients with HIV

Your Life Your Decisions PDF: AIDS Law Project Booklet on End of Life Issues Facing Clients with HIV Updated 6/4/13

Download (PDF)

Glossary

Will

A document identifying who handles your affairs after your death and designating who will receive your property.

Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney

A document designating the person you choose to consult with your medical providers and to make medical decisions for you.

Living Will

A written statement of your wishes about receiving life sustaining treatment in the event you have an end-stage medical condition that will result in death. You may also name a person who will make sure your wishes are followed.

Financial Power of Attorney (POA)

A document identifying an agent to have access to your bank accounts and to make financial decisions for you.