When do You Need a Living Will?

Living wills, also known as healthcare directives, inform loved ones and medical professionals about your wishes for life. Ensure your wishes are met when you draft a living will.

When do you Need a Living Will?

Unfortunately, you may reach a season in life when you are unable to tell loved ones and doctors whether or not you want life support, blood transfusions and other procedures. A living will clarifies your wishes when you're incapacitated and unable to discuss or sign a legal contract.

In addition to making your medical wishes known, a living will saves your loved ones from making difficult decisions on your behalf. Let's say they disagree amongst themselves or with the doctors about your treatment. Your living will leaves no doubt about your treatment wishes.

Don't wait and create a living will after an accident or injury. As soon as you reach legal adulthood, prepare this legal document. Likewise, ensure you have a healthcare directive in place:

*Before major surgery
*Before dementia or Alzheimer's strikes
*Before you become comatose
*When you want a friend or unmarried partner, rather than a close relative, to make end of life decisions for you

How do you Create a Living Will?

With your estate planning attorney, decide the details of your living will. It can include the name of a single person or a panel of trusted loved ones or medical professionals who will decide if you're incapacitated. It also includes the types of medical care you want when you're incapacitated.

No one wants to think about becoming incapacitated, but you ensure your wishes are met when you create a living will before you need it. Discuss the details with your attorney. While you're planning this document, update your life insurance and health insurance policies to make sure you have adequate coverage for your future.
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