Who do you trust to make healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to make them for yourself? Beyond the person you want to name as your surrogate, however, how much have you thought about your end-of-life decisions? How long would you prefer to receive end-of-life treatment? How would you like any pain to be managed? What would you want to have happen if you are in a terminal state?
While you may not currently have an answer to these questions, we want you to know that it is never too early to start thinking about them. Through your estate planning documents you make critical choices just like these that will ensure you are provided for in a crisis and that your loved ones can have the peace of mind that comes from knowing what you wanted to happen.
Creating a living will through your estate planning can be an effective way of outlining the medical treatment you wish to receive if you are in a terminal condition, persistent vegetative state or end-of-life scenario. Start this discussion with your attorney now because there are a variety of estate planning options for you to consider. Let us share with you some of the reasons why a living will may be the right fit for your individual planning needs.
- A living will provides flexibility.
As the creator of a living will, you retain control over the provisions of the document until you are medically and legally declared unfit to continue doing so. At any point after the creation of the living will, you may update, add, or remove any provisions in the document. This includes the appointment of a healthcare proxy. The proxy can be changed as you see fit, so you can rest assured your medical decisions will be in the hands of someone you trust.
- A living will details your end-of-life care wishes to medical professionals.
As required by law, medical professionals must follow the care instructions provided in living wills. Although the provisions can be as specific or as broad as you desire, the more detailed the instructions, the easier it may be for healthcare professionals to follow your end-of-life care wishes. You may also rest assured knowing that the doctors will not put you through any unnecessary treatments or procedures.
- A living will provides your loved ones with peace of mind.
Terminal illnesses and persistent vegetative states can take an emotional toll on your loved ones. Although there are likely no words or actions that will soothe their concerns, establishing a detailed set of end-of-life care instructions may help alleviate some of their worries.
Remember that these are just a few of the reasons why you may want to consider creating a living will. Are you ready to discuss your planning options? Contact our firm and let us guide and support you through the estate planning process.