5 Important Benefits of Having a Living Will

If you don’t already have a living will included in your estate plan, there’s no better time than right now to keep an eye out for the future.

Sometimes also known as an advance healthcare directive, personal directive, or medical directive, a living will is a legal document that allows you to predetermine important decisions about your medical and end-of-life care. This document typically becomes most relevant when you are incapacitated or in a condition where it is impossible for you to effectively communicate your wishes.

Benefit 1: You Can Refuse Certain Treatments

An important reason people choose to establish a living will is to outline how they do not wish to be treated. You can use this document to indicate a DNR (do not resuscitate) order, refuse to be placed on a feeding tube, refuse to be placed on a ventilator, or refuse any of a number of other life-preserving medical intervention techniques. People use living wills to ensure their religious convictions are upheld, but many also simply want to control how far doctors should go to save their lives.

Benefit 2: Your Family Doesn’t Have to Decide for You

A living will is important because it spares your loved ones from having to make important decisions on your behalf. Sometimes even your closest relatives aren’t aware of what you would really want when it comes to lifesaving or life-preserving medical treatments. Not knowing your wishes and deciding for you can leave them agonizing over whether or not their choices were what you would have intended.

Benefit 3: Your Family Won’t Argue over Decisions about You

When you predetermine your end-of-life medical care such that family members aren’t in a position to make decisions for you, familial strife is less likely to generate over your care. It’s unfortunate but not uncommon for family members to severely disagree on how a relative should be treated if they are approaching the end of their life. Varying opinions can be rooted in differing religious beliefs or memories about how someone once said they wanted to be treated.

Benefit 4: Avoid Financial Difficulty for Your Estate

Most people want to pass away with something to leave behind for their spouse, children, and other loved ones. Having a severe amount of medical debt, however, can quickly wipe out an estate. While your family won’t be left to pick up the tab, they may not get a chance to inherit anything if your medical creditors come to collect tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

By determining the extent of your end-of-life medical treatment, you can also ensure that some very costly procedures won’t be carried out. This may be especially important if you don’t feel confident that such methods would help you survive and fulfill an enriching life afterward.

Benefit 5: You Know What Your Outcomes Are

For some people, the anxiety of not knowing what will happen to them may be the worst part of becoming so severely ill or injured. A living will can help you outline a roadmap of your outcomes for a variety of circumstances. This can help you be sure that should something you planned for comes to pass, there’s a way it will be handled by your medical care providers without any guesswork.

Do You Need Help Preparing a Living Will?

At Cali Law, our estate planning attorneys are dedicated to helping people like you predetermine some of the most important decisions during your lifetime. If you need to consider how you wish to be treated by doctors when you are incapacitated or approaching the end of your life, we can help you establish a living will to make your wishes be known.

Get the legal help you need from Cali Law today by calling (508) 252-8186 or by contacting us online.

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