When estate planning, many people overlook the role of a living will. A living will is an important document that can help ensure your wishes are carried out if you become incapacitated.
What is a living will?
A living will is an estate planning document that outlines your wishes for medical care if you become incapacitated and are unable to communicate your decisions. This often includes decisions about life-sustaining treatment, such as artificial ventilation or feeding tubes.
Why is a living will important?
A living will is an important estate planning tool because it can help ensure that your wishes are carried out if you become incapacitated. Without a living will, your family or loved ones may have to make difficult decisions about your care without knowing what you would want.
It can also help avoid family disagreements about your care. Being clear about your wishes in a living will ensures that your family will not have to guess what you would want if you become incapacitated. Lastly, if you have particular apprehensions about certain medical treatments, a living will can also help put your mind at ease.
What should you include in a living will?
When creating a living will, you should include a standard healthcare power of attorney. This gives someone you trust the legal authority to make decisions about your medical care if you are unable to do so yourself. You should also include specific instructions about your wishes for medical treatment, including life-sustaining treatment. If you wish to donate your organs, you can also include this in this estate planning document.
It’s very common for people to put off estate planning because it can be difficult to think about what will happen after we get incapacitated or die. However, estate planning is important for everyone, regardless of age or health.