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What Is A Living Will?

Death can be a very painful subject to think about. However, the responsible thing to do is to ensure that your family understands your wishes in the event that you are unable to make decisions for yourself. To achieve that, you should consider living wills.

What is a living will?

Basically, a living will is a legal form which indicates what should be done in the event that the individual in question is unable to make decisions for themselves. Generally, this incapacitation is due to illness and the outlined contingencies relate to healthcare. An example of a request on a living will would be to terminate life support if the testator entered a coma. 

What are the benefits of a living will?

Living wills allow you to have a greater deal of control over decisions near the end of you life than you would normally. If you have any specific desires about how you wish your medical care to be conducted in the event that you are unable to exert your autonomy, then a living will is critical to the expression of those desires. For instance, you might wish to terminate life support in order to alleviate the financial burden of your family. On the other hand, you might wish to create a living will which prohibits the removal of life support, possibly due to moral concerns.

What are the drawbacks of a living will?

A distinct possibility is that your opinion and desires might change between the time of creating a living will and your incapacitation. You might wish to terminate life support to help your family financially, even if you signed a living will which indicated that you wish to keep life support on. However, in situations such as these, you would be unable to convey your wishes anyway. Your family might still keep the life support on in hopes that you recover. To prevent a tragedy such as this, it is critical that you update your living will if you have a change of heart. It is important to carefully consider exactly what the ramifications of the will are, and exactly how it will affect your loved ones.

Do I need a living will?

Unfortunately, death is inevitable for everyone. In order to make the end of your life as painless as possible, for both you and your loved ones, you must explicitly state your wishes. If you feel that you are approaching old age or that you might be incapacitated in the near future, then you might want to consider a living will.

How would I get a living will?

The process for getting a living will is quite simple. Many institutions such as senior centers, hospitals, and general physician's offices carry forms for living wills. A lawyer is not required, but many states have different requirements in the process. For more information, contact Eloise Taylor P.A.