Why it is Important to Have a Living Will

Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 in Family & Law | 0 comments

There are many reasons why everyone should have a living will, and not just for those who are advanced in years. Accidents and sudden illness can happen to anyone at any time, and loved ones and relatives are left to make life and death decisions for an individual who is unable to communicate their wishes regarding their physical disposition.

A living will is the written statement by an individual who wants to retain control of their health decisions even if they become incapacitated. It is a legal document that may also be referred to as an advance directive, a physician’s directive, or health care directive. Essentially, it lays down the wishes of the testator regarding health and medical treatment decisions.

For example, if Tony is involved in an accident that leaves him in a comatose state, he can only be kept alive using machines. Most relatives would be reluctant to “pull the plug” even if the doctor says there is very little chance that Tony will survive without the machines. He has a living will that states he does not want to be put on a respirator. In such cases, the relatives have little choice but to follow his wishes.

A living will eliminates the emotional turmoil that survivors feel when making medical treatment decisions for an incapacitated loved one. The testator can make a living will with the assistance of a physician and a living will lawyer. As pointed out on the website of Peck Ritchey, LLC, you will want a lawyer who specializes in these types of documents, because it requires divulging very personal information. These professionals can guide the testator on the appropriate terms for a living will, and the appropriate person to designate with health care power of attorney. This is the power to make health care decisions for you in cases where the living will does not have a specific directive.

A living will may seem macabre, but it is as important as having life insurance. It eliminates a lot of uncertainties and eases the burden for those you leave behind.

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