Most people do not like contemplating their passing, especially after tragic circumstances. But estate planning is a crucial aspect of aging. However, there are documents in estate plans that affect your life right now, including a living will.
A living will is a legal document that specifies detailed instructions if you need medical treatments but cannot make advocate your decision. There are three specific situations where a living will is necessary.
You receive a severe illness or disease diagnosis
Dealing with a life-threatening diagnosis is an incredibly difficult situation. It makes you address everything in your life and decide how life proceeds when you pass away. Luckily, establishing a living will help address your life now and any unexpected circumstances.
For example, most people associate living wills with when to “pull the plug.” In reality, living will help answer questions about medical treatments, what your family should do if you cannot decide for yourself or what you want if an unexpected disease affects your life.
You are having surgery or intrusive medical treatment
Similar to the last situation, surgery is a challenging aspect to face. However, most doctors won’t perform operations unless it’s necessary for your wellbeing. A living will helps doctors operate in a specific manner or give your family guidance in the case of a fatal flaw or an unexpected circumstance.
However, it’s essential to understand that doctors always prioritize patients’ health over any established wishes. They want to ensure your living will stay a “living” will.
You have specific wishes surrounding your health
The most valuable situation for a living will is when you have particular requests surrounding your health. When it comes to medical emergencies, it doesn’t always happen during a period of decline. You could be in a car accident or hit by a bus at any time in your life.
And luckily, a living will help determine a health proxy – someone who speaks on your behalf for medical procedures. Your proxy speaks for you in times when you cannot advocate for yourself. Ultimately, it may save your life in times of accidents or tragedy.
While living wills are crucial in these circumstances, they are helpful beyond medical treatment. Living wills establish health proxies, funeral arrangements, power of attorney and a wide variety of topics. Every adult should consider if a living will is a right addition to their estate plan.