December 18

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Why You Should Have a Living Will

By Adam

December 18, 2018


Estate Planning Attorneys

An often overlooked, but very important, aspect of estate planning is incapacity planning. Incapacity planning involves putting legal tools in place to protect your wishes, among other things, should you become unable to communicate them yourself. While you may be young and you may be in good health, everyone should have an incapacity plan in place. The unexpected can always happen. No one like to think that they may fall victim to a sudden illness or accident, but these things do occur.

Developing an incapacity plan can accomplish many important things. It can give you peace of mind knowing that your wishes regarding things such as health care choices will be honored even in the event that you are unable to express those wishes. You can choose to put a health care power of attorney in place which empowers you to select a trusted individual to make health care decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Additionally, one of the central legal documents involved in incapacity planning is a living will. This important legal tool can include a wide range of important information regarding your health care treatment options and wishes. Find out what a living will as and why you should have one in place

Why You Should Have a Living Will

A living will is a legal document that outlines your wishes regarding health care decisions. This includes life support and end of life wishes, in particular. The living will only comes into effect should you become incapacitated and, therefore, unable to express your wishes yourself. You have the option of making your living will general or very specific. Of course, more specific wills are the preferred option. A living will that is too general may not provide sufficient information needed to effectively relay your wishes. It may create confusion between your treating medical professionals, your health care agent (the person tasked with seeing to it that your wishes included in the living will are enforced), and your loved ones.

Take time to reflect on what is important to you and what you would want to specifically communicate to your loved ones and your physicians regarding your health care choices. In a living will, you are able to address things like:

 

  • What type of life support treatment you would wish to receive
  • What type of life support treatment you do not wish to receive
  • What type of pain management options you would be open to receiving
  • Any specific instructions regarding personal grooming or bathing
  • Any religious or spiritual considerations to take into account
  • Details regarding funeral, memorial, or celebration of life plans

Everything you specify in your living will means that you have taken control of that health care or end of life decision for yourself. You can find peace of mind knowing that these things that are important to you will be honored whether or not you can speak for yourself.

 

Additionally, a living will is not just for you. Should you become unexpectedly ill or injured in an accident, your loved ones will be going through a very difficult time. A living will can provide much needed relief for them. They will not be tasked with guessing at what you would have wanted. You can have everything clearly outlined for them in your living will.

Estate Planning Attorneys

Living wills are not just for the old or the infirmed. They are for everyone. People of all ages and all health statuses need to take steps to have an incapacity plan in place bcause no one is immune from the unexpected. Accidents happen. Illnesses develop suddenly. Create a living will and get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your wishes are expressly documented and will be enforced no matter what the circumstances of your incapacity may be. Contact a trusted estate planning attorney today. An estate planning attorney can work with you to create a comprehensive estate plan as well as an incapacity plan that takes your unique circumstances and wishes into account. A living will, along with things like a health care power of attorney, gives you control over a future situation out of your control. Contact an attorney today and get the peace only comprehensive legal planning can bring to you and your loved ones.

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