Having a living will, or advance health care directive, should be a major part of your estate planning. It’s an essential document that will preserve your wishes when you might not be able to share them.
To give you a little more background, a living will is a document that states your wishes in the event you are on life support, and cannot communicate your end of life wishes. A living will only take effect if you’re facing imminent death, in an irreversible coma or persistent vegetative state, or have severe, irreversible Alzheimers/dementia, leaving you unable to communicate your wishes. It also spares your family the agony of making life support decisions without your input. If you want to learn more about the essentials of a living will keep reading.
Any person over the age of 18 should have a living will. A few reasons include:
Choosing what to put in your living will is entirely up to you. You can be as specific or as broad as you want. However, there are certain areas you should regard more specifically.
You’ll need to have your wishes in writing regarding the most common life-sustaining treatments. Your living will should have answers to the following questions:
When composing your living will, it’s important to include answers to the above information, and any other important information regarding your health, along with what should occur in case of death. Not only will this ease things for you, but also your family during important life decisions. Also, you may want to appoint a durable power of attorney to make medical decisions for you, in case something happens that’s not covered in your living will.