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Key considerations when drafting a living will

When creating or updating your estate plan, you may want to devote careful consideration to your advance directives. Advance directives outline your wishes in the event that something happens to you and you become unable to make medical decisions on your own behalf.

The living will is one common type of advance directive. In a living will, you have the opportunity to say what you want to happen when specific medical circumstances are present. The contents of living wills may vary somewhat from one person to the next. However, you may want to use yours to address the following.

Whether you want to receive food and liquids via a tube

If you become unable to consume food or water due to a medical condition, your medical team may want to give them to you via an IV or feeding tube. You may dictate whether you want this in your living will.

Whether you want resuscitation

You may also address whether you want doctors to attempt to resuscitate you in the event that your breathing or heartbeat stops. A “do not resuscitate” order means you do not want medical staff to perform CPR or use other means to keep you alive.

Whether you want palliative care

You may also use your living will to express whether you want medication for pain, nausea and so on if you are unable to consent to such treatments.

Whether you want to donate organs

You also have the chance to dictate whether you want to donate your organs to others in need or medical science when creating your living will.