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Planning for the unexpected: Why you need a living will now

On Behalf of | May 5, 2023 | Estate Planning

Life is full of twists and turns. You may envision a long and healthy life, but sometimes, things don’t always go as planned. A sudden illness or an accident can leave you incapacitated and unable to make independent decisions.

Picture a car crash that leaves you in a coma for months. Without the ability to communicate your wishes and medical preferences, your loved ones will have to make such difficult decisions on your behalf.

It can lead to conflict among family members

Your close kin may not all agree on the way forward. Should doctors proceed with a delicate surgery with potential lifelong complications if you survive? How long should you stay on life support? These are some of the decisions that can lead to fallouts among your family members, especially if there is no consensus.

A living will puts you in control of the situation

A living will is a legal document that outlines your preferences for medical treatment if you cannot communicate them yourself. It’s an essential tool for anyone who wants to ensure their wishes are respected when such unexpected events happen.

By specifying your medical care wishes when you are physically and mentally able through a living will, you can avoid unwanted or unnecessary treatments that may prolong your suffering or reduce your quality of life. It will also prevent disputes among your relatives and lessen the burden or guilt of making crucial decisions without knowing what you would have wanted.

It’s not just for the elderly and terminally ill

As mentioned, life can get quite unpredictable. You may be young and healthy in one moment and incapacitated in the next. Therefore, it helps to anticipate such possibilities by taking the proper steps. Having a living will can be an excellent place to start, although it’s best to learn more about what else you can do to foolproof your incapacitation plans.