The plight facing Terri Schiavo and her family highlights a need for living wills and durable powers of attorney.
The difference is simple: a living will specifies what type of medical care you want in different situations. A durable powr of attorney appoints someone to make your medical decisions for you if you are unable to speak for yourself. Legal and medical experts say both are necessary.
Both forms are available online, and are free. They are legally binding, but do not require legal assistance. The time it takes to think about your wants and fill out the forms can spare your loved ones additional heartache during emotional, trying times.