Most of us do not consider ourselves “old enough” for estate planning. Unfortunately, this view many Americans share, is unrealistic. Accidents, injuries, and illnesses do not discriminate by age. That is why it is crucial for you to make your wishes known to your close friends and family members, whether you are planning for your young child or planning for retirement.
Creating a living will is one way to accomplish this. A living will, or advance directive, is a detailed set of instructions which outline how you would like to be cared for in the event you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself and find yourself in a condition that is end-stage or terminal or a persistent vegetative state.
There are many estate planning options to consider.Through your estate planning you may work with your attorney to also appoint a close friend or family member as a healthcare proxy to legally make medical decisions on your behalf. Let us share some of the key considerations as to why a living will may be a good fit for your unique planning needs.
- Provide your loved ones peace of mind.
One of the main benefits of establishing estate planning such as a living will is to potentially alleviate your loved ones from the stress of trying to determine your wishes when you are unable to speak for yourself. Designating someone you trust to make difficult medical decisions on your behalf and providing them with instructions as to how to make those decisions can provide your loved ones with much needed peace of mind. They can rest assured that you are being cared for according to your wishes.
- Avoid unnecessary treatment.
By drafting a living will, you can voice your desires regarding what medical treatments you wish to be administered or withheld during end-of-life care. For example, you can determine at what point medical treatment should stop and how you would like your pain managed until your death. Making these difficult decisions ahead of time, while you have a clear mind, can help ensure you receive the care you want at the end of your life.
- Enjoy flexibility.
As we get older, our circumstances change. Fortunately, living wills are highly flexible documents, allowing you to change and update your wishes at any time. When drafting the instructions, your attorney can help you be as specific or as broad as you like. However, keep in mind that broader instructions may be left to your healthcare proxy’s or physician’s interpretation. Talk to your attorney first about your goals and what you hope to accomplish.
These are just a few of the reasons why you should consider creating a living will as part of your estate plan. When you are ready to discuss your planning options, do not hesitate to contact our firm. Let us support and guide you through this process.