A Living Will: Why It Matters

Living Will

3 reasons to create a living will

A living will is an estate planning vehicle designed to outline your medical wishes in the off-chance that you are left unable to communicate. While oftentimes overlooked as an essential part of managing one’s estate, a living will provides peace of mind for you and your loved ones when illness or incapacitation ensues. The key is to plan ahead so when the unexpected happens, you are prepared.

Here are 3 reasons to create a living will:

  1. Protection. When communication is no longer an option, a living will protects you from receiving treatment you would otherwise choose to defer. Examples of this could include a Do Not Resuscitate clause or specific instructions about life support. By outlining your wishes ahead of time, you remain in control, despite the fact that you may not be able to speak on your own behalf. Living wills provide a roadmap for doctors to adhere  to your written wishes, relieving medical staff  and loved ones from making those difficult decisions.
  2. Keeps the Family Peace. Without a living will, the decision for medical treatment typically falls to the family members. Tension and turmoil may arise, especially if there is disagreement on the options for treatment, which can make an already stressful situation even worse. From life support to life-ending decisions, your written living will can state preferences, and preparations to be put in place for when that time comes.
  3. Provides Peace of Mind. When illness and misfortune strikes, a living will provides peace of mind for both you and your family members. Not only will you know your wishes are documented and will be respected by doctors and loved ones, it prevents your family members from having to make difficult choices on your behalf. It can also prevent your end-of-life decisions from reaching beyond family and falling into the hands of an unknown party. Knowing that end-of-life medical wishes will be fulfilled, no matter what, is the best peace of mind.

A living will is one of the most vital documents in the estate planning process—it’s also one of the most easily overlooked. To prevent your most important healthcare decisions from falling into the wrong hands, contact Anselmo Lindberg Oliver to get started.

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