No one likes to think about the possibility that one day they may be too incapacitated to express their wishes. Hopefully it won’t happen, but life is unpredictable and a living will gives you the opportunity to state your wishes regarding health care and life-prolonging medical treatments. Without this type of arrangement in place, medical staff may provide you with treatment you don’t want and prolong your life for months or even years when there is no hope for recovery.
There are many benefits of having a living will in place, no matter how old you are or what your current state of health may be. Here are five of them.
- You control the treatment you receive
While some illnesses are progressive, others can strike without warning. You could also be in a motor vehicle accident or suffer a workplace injury that leaves you incapacitated. A living will ensure certainty regarding your medical treatment. You can refuse treatments that contradict your religious or moral beliefs and indicate that you do not want to be resuscitated if there does not appear to be hope of recovery.
- Family discord can be prevented
Family disagreements over a loved one’s medical care are not unusual. Your spouse may believe that a certain treatment is in your best interests while your parents disagree strongly. You may remember the case of Terri Schiavo, who entered a vegetative state after cardiac arrest. Her husband wanted to remove her feeding tube while her parents argued that she should be kept alive. By having a living will in place, you prevent such discord because you’ve made these decisions in advance.
- You can specify end-of-life treatment
Living wills are often associated with healthcare, but you can use one to provide medical staff with instructions for end-of-life care. For example, you can specify that you don’t want to be kept alive indefinitely on life support.
- You can preserve more of your legacy
Healthcare is expensive, especially when it is long-term. By specifying what treatments you do and don’t want, you can prevent your estate and your family’s resources from being diminished by medical costs.
- There are no unnecessary delays in treatment delivery
Many single adults live far from their families, making them vulnerable in the event of incapacity. A living will instruct your medical care providers to give treatments that are aligned with your wishes, so they can begin immediately. This can also provide peace of mind to family members who may have to travel far to reach your bedside.
Contact an Estate Planning Attorney
A detailed and carefully planned living will help ensure that your interests are protected when you can’t do so yourself. The estate planning team at Rosen Law, LLC can advise you on how to create an instrument that will achieve your healthcare and medical treatment objectives while preventing your legacy from being diminished by unwanted measures. To schedule a consultation, please contact our office.