Creating A Living Will Has Numerous Benefits
Deciding to create a living will is one of the best decisions an individual can make. A living will ensures that the proper decisions regarding medical treatment are made when an individual can no longer communicate these wishes himself or herself.
The Absence Of A Living Will Can Create Conflicts Within Families
According to CBS News, a Pew research study found that only 29 percent of people currently have a living will. Although most individuals prefer to avoid a subject such as incapacity, planning what will happen in the event it happens can help immensely.
Findlaw.com states that a living will is a document stating what medical treatment an individual prefers, in case he or she becomes physically unable to communicate these preferences due to events such as a coma or terminal illness. It is best to consider what to include in a living will while an individual is still healthy. This helps guarantee that the proper decisions are made.
One estate planning attorney notes that the presence of a living will made a huge difference when her father died. Her father had created and executed a living will that clearly expressed his wishes. The living will significantly diminished family conflict and the family did not worry about whether it was making the right decision.
In contrast, when her mother died with no living will she says the family was “at each other’s throats,” as reported by CBS News. A Virginia oncologist says this is a typical scenario because the family is focusing on its own wishes, rather than those of the deceased individual.
Individuals May Choose Exactly What Information To Include In A Living Will
Even if individuals realize the utility of a living will, they often wonder exactly what it is or how to go about creating one. Consulting an experienced estate planning attorney is a good first step to take.
All states allow living wills, but each state has different requirements regarding them. Health care providers are required to follow all of the instructions in a validly created and executed living will, if legally permitted.
It is commonly thought that a living will only contains instructions on steps not to take. However, an individual can also use a living will to express his or her preference to receive all available medical treatment options or dictate specific choices about which treatments to receive, or where he or she would like to be treated.
An estate planning attorney can help one draft a living will that includes all essential components and help an individual create all the important documents in a well-crafted estate plan.