A living will is a legal document that differs from a conventional will. Conventional wills typically explain how you wish to distribute your property, money and other belongings after you have passed away. A living will on the other hand explains your end of life wishes.
In the instance that you would become incapacitated and therefore not able to make decisions or speak for yourself, a living will can help your loved ones make those difficult decisions. A living will spells out your definition of when you consider yourself to be “incapacitated” and then details your wishes for how doctors and loved ones should proceed in certain medical situations. The most common reasons an individual would be termed incapacitated include dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, a non-responsive coma or vegetative state and the like. In these difficult situations, it can be very stressful for family to know how you would like to be treated and a living will helps to ease that anxiety by explaining your dying wishes.
Living wills are also referred to as “Health Care Directives” and are often prepared with a “Health Care Power of Attorney” document. These documents allow someone that you designate to speak and make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated and not able to do so yourself.
It is not uncommon for individuals to use a living will to help outline their dying wishes as they relate to their personal values and goals. Each person is unique, with their own desires and opinions on end of life care and a living will helps protect your individual rights on how you wish to be treated. Most importantly, living wills provide family members the peace of mind in knowing that they have respected your last wishes and therefore have preserved your unique identity in your last days of life.
Are you interested in having your living will drafted by a legal professional? Richwood Bank is hosting a “Living Will Event” where you can meet with Anthony Eufinger, Attorney at Law, for a complimentary, no obligation drafting of your living will. Find out more details here.