Planning for end-of-life care and emergency medical procedures can be difficult. After all, when a person is healthy, serious illnesses and injuries can seem like abstract concepts. Still, creating a living will is one of the more effective ways to maintain control over one’s medical care, especially after incapacitation.
If your loved one has a living will, you may find it easier to respect his or her wishes. On the other hand, if your relative’s living will do not make much sense to you, you may feel a compulsion to intervene. Fortunately, it is generally possible to contest a living will.
Grounds for contesting living wills
Like with other types of wills, you must have legal grounds to contest a living will. While there are other grounds to object to a living will, the following are common:
- Undue influence
The legal process
If you believe your relative’s living will do not reflect his or her genuine intentions because of fraud, duress, undue influence or another legally valid reason, you may need to act quickly to save his or her life. Contesting living wills is similar to contesting other wills.
It also may be possible to ask for an emergency hearing and injunction to keep doctors from following your relative’s instructions. To do so, though, you probably need evidence. Simply disagreeing with your loved one’s intentions is usually not sufficient.
The most beneficial time to understand your relative’s medical wishes is before an emergency arises. Ultimately, by discussing your loved one’s end-of-life care early, you may know whether you need to object to his or her living will in the future.