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Planning ahead: Why having a living will matters

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2024 | Elder Law, Estate Planning, Guardianships, Medicaid Planning, Probate |

A living will is a legal document that specifies your health care preferences if you cannot communicate them yourself. This could happen after a sudden illness or an injury that makes it impossible to express your wishes for medical treatment.

For instance, would you want to be put on life-support if you were in a vegetative state? Would you prefer palliative care focused on pain management and comfort rather than aggressive medical interventions? These are just some of the critical medical decisions a living will addresses. Its importance to your estate planning cannot be overstated.

It takes the burden off your loved ones

Without a living will, decisions about your medical care become the responsibility of loved ones who may be unaware of your desires or unwilling to follow your verbal directives. Additionally, disagreements among family members could arise when faced with critical decisions about your care. This has the potential to create tension and strain relationships.

A living will puts you in control

You may not be in a position to effectively communicate your health care wishes, but a living will gives you that voice. It allows you to avoid unwanted treatments and help ensure that the ensuing medical interventions align with your values and beliefs.

Moreover, you can indirectly address the financial implications of health care decisions with a living will. Clear directives can prevent unnecessary and costly treatments that can put a substantial financial strain on your loved ones or eat up the assets you’d rather leave them.

Preserve your wishes with a valid and enforceable document

A valid living will carries legal weight. It can provide assurance and peace of mind that your wishes will be honored when the time comes. Seeking legal guidance can go a long way in helping you craft a comprehensive and solid document, allowing you to navigate the uncertainties of life with confidence.