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A living will is also known as an advanced directive. These documents specify your wishes regarding medical treatment if for some reason you become unable to speak for yourself, whether through accident or illness. While many people avoid writing a living will, preferring to assume that everything will always be OK, a living will is a beneficial tool for protecting and ensuring your rights are sustained, even if you become incapacitated. Therefore, before you decide against creating an advanced directive, you should consider the following four things.
- Make Your Wishes Known
Living wills are a legally binding way of making your wishes known and ensuring you get the medical care you desire. Therefore, most of these documents have areas where you can refuse unwanted treatments and define your choices for end-of-life care. Also, you are given the opportunity to specify a medical power of attorney, who makes any decisions beyond the scope of your advanced directive.
- Protect Your Family
When accidents or sudden illnesses occur, it can be difficult for those you love, especially when they are forced to make decisions on your behalf. Therefore, a living will can reduce the level of anxiety and stress and helps to protect your family by reducing arguments and making medical decisions somewhat easy.
- Ensure Doctors Don’t Follow Their Idea of Treatment
Medical professionals are in the life-saving business, and their desire to save lives can sometimes be to the detriment of the patient. While it is honorable to want to preserve life at all cost, there are instances when a patient may prefer limited intervention. Therefore, an advanced directive gives permission for authorized treatments only, allowing your wishes to be first and foremost.
- Reduce Financial Concerns
While it is hard to acknowledge, money is a concern when it comes to medical intervention. There have been instances where a patient is placed on long-term life-support despite being pronounced brain dead. Families want so desperately to hang on to hope, and will often do so regardless of the rising costs. Therefore, a living will can protect your family from the potential financial pitfalls of end-of-life care.
The decisions for an advanced directive might be uncomfortable, but the benefit of having a living will in place is possibly one of the greatest things you can do for your loved ones. A living will is a legal document, and as such, you may find great value in consulting with an experienced Memphis estate planning lawyer before making any final decisions.
Thanks to Wiseman Bray, PLLC for their insight into estate planning and reasons to consider a living will.