Living Will document and court gavel

What Is a Living Will? A Quick Guide

Are you or someone you care for preparing for end-of-life care? If so, you may have many questions about what a living will is. Some people think they can wait on writing a living will until they fall ill or become older.

The fact is, is an unexpected disease or injury can happen at any moment. If you’ve had questions about what a living will is, keep reading. In this article, we give you a quick guide about the purpose of a living will.

What Is a Living Will?

A living will is a legal document that spells out your conditions and preferences for medical care if you can’t make decisions independently. This is not to be confused with a testament or a last will which dictates where your assets will go.

A living will is legally-binding information that medical staff must consider when proceeding with a life-threatening medical situation or procedure. Another purpose of a living will is to reduce any confusion or arguments between family members trying to make decisions for future planning

Understanding a Living Will

A living will doesn’t affect every aspect of a medical situation. A living will come into play during a life-threatening condition where you are incapacitated and unable to communicate your wishes for treatment.

Some states refer to a living will as a healthcare proxy or a medical directive.

What’s Included in a Living Will?

A living will mentions how care is performed during a life-threatening situation. A living will includes directions on these common medical procedures.

  • Dialysis
  • Ventilation
  • Electric shock
  • Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
  • Palliative care
  • Supplemental feeding

Some may prefer to extend life as long as possible, and some may want to give directions not to resuscitate under any circumstances.

How to Write a Will

Although having a lawyer is not required to write a will, it is recommended. Check what your state requires for making a will.

Some states accept detailed documents as a living will, while some are a simple form you have to fill out. Whatever you choose, your living will must meet your state’s requirements when it comes to witnesses and notarization.

What to Do With Your Living Will

After you’ve written, notarized, and signed your living will, you’ll want to distribute it to the essential people in your life. Start by giving your will to Your doctor, healthcare agent, care facility, and family members.

Doing this will ensure everyone is on the same page regarding your end-of-life care and wishes. Go here if you need more info.

Should You Get a Living Will?

It can be stressful thinking about an end-of-life situation. This makes having a living will is a smart idea. You’ll be able to make sure your medical directives are met, as well as save arguments from your family trying to figure out your medical wishes.

Consult a lawyer or a legal advisor to get your will started today. Did this article help you make an informed decision? Check out our blog for similar pieces that can advise you on many different topics.