Have you created your living will yet? While many people are under the illusion that living wills are only for the sick and elderly, it is important that everyone knows what a living will is and how it can be used.
The fact is it’s a good idea to have a living will regardless of your age or health status.
So, what is a living will and why is it so important? Don’t worry, we have created this guide to answer those very questions for you.
What is a Living Will?
A living will is simply written instructions that describe your wishes regarding medical decisions in case you are unable to make them at the time. To make a living will you need to be over the legal age of medical consent and of sound mind.
There are a few ways to approach a living will. You can appoint someone to make medical decisions for you, or you can detail everything you want done and not done in case you are unable to make informed decisions.
It is important that your closest friends and family either know where to find your living will or have copies of your living will. This will ensure that your directives get followed.
How to Write a Living Will
While it is possible to write a living will by yourself, it is recommended that you get a lawyer to assist you with the process. It is also recommended that you receive medical advice and counseling before drafting your living will. Remember you can always review your living will if you change your mind about any of the directives.
It is important to check your state’s laws and practices regarding living wills. This will let you know the correct form to use, if a witness is needed, and whether the document needs to be notarized.
What Should You Include in Your Living Will?
The most important things to include in your living will are:
- If you do or do not want prolonging procedures administered or continued even if there is no chance of your survival
- Care you do or do not want to receive such as CPR, dialysis, or mechanical ventilation
- Whether you want to be an organ or tissue donor
- Your palliative care wishes
- Any spiritual or religious considerations
- Any decisions you want to be made regarding your health and body if you are no longer able to voice them
- Your end of life plan
Create a Living Will Today
A living will isn’t really for you. It is to help your doctors and loved ones make decisions when you are no longer capable of making them yourself. Setting up a living will can take the pressure off of your family and gives them the peace of mind that they are doing right by you.
If you enjoyed learning about what a living will is, you might also enjoy our article on Planning End of Life Care. If you are interested in any of our services, feel free to contact us.