When it comes to estate planning, every person should have a reliable plan in place, regardless of their age or financial status. Living wills are one essential part of estate planning that can benefit you while you are still alive.
Living wills contain directives on the type of medical care you desire in the event illness or injury incapacitates you. Because a life-threatening medical condition can occur at any time, it is important that you have a plan to protect yourself.
Common provisions in living wills
Living wills routinely discuss life-preserving medical care and the practices that surround them. For example, CPR restores a heart rhythm after it has stopped beating. Many living wills contain information about CPR and whether the creator of the will accepts it in an emergency care environment.
You can also use the document to make decisions regarding life-assisting devices, such as tube feeding and mechanical ventilation. Many people also list directives regarding palliative care, which is medical care that provides comfort but does not preserve life.
Choosing a power of attorney
In addition to a living will, many people also choose a healthcare power of attorney. This person represents you to medical staff and family members and communicates your directives contained within the living will.
It is essential that the person you select is able to fulfill this very important role. They must accurately convey your wishes without letting their own beliefs get in the way. They must also answer questions from family members without letting their influence affect their decisions.
Make sure your primary care doctor is aware of your plans and has a copy of your living will. You should also provide a copy to your family, so they are completely aware of the type of medical care you prefer in the event of a terminal health issue.