A living will is a legal document used for individuals to express their medical wishes and desires should they ever become unable to do so themselves due to illness or incapacity. This particularly pertains to decisions concerning prolonged medical treatment. Other terms for a living will include advance health care directive or physician's directive. A living will is separate and unrelated to a trust, which handles the assets of an individual after their death.
What does a Living Will do?
There are many things that an advanced health care directive can do, including the following:
· Describes certain life prolonging treatments and your wishes concerning them. In other words, you will use this document to outline what treatments you would or would not be happy with if you were ever to fall into a vegetative state of become gravely ill.
· This will is only applied if you become incapacitated. As long as you are still able to express your intentions, your living will does not get used.
· A living will can be as specific or as general as its creator wants it to be. If you want to list exactly which procedure should be done, and which should not, you have every right to do that. You can also leave more general directives, such as simply expressing your desire that procedure for prolonging death should not be used on you.
Reasons to Have a Living Will
Living wills are vital documents to have, as they make the decisions that might be impossible for your loved ones. Often if someone enters a grave illness without a living will, their families are burdened with the task of decided what would be best. This can lead to serious and long-lasting disagreements that pin loved ones against each other. These battles can often get legal, costing families great expense on top of the already accumulating medical expenses. Having a living will can help you keep your loved ones from ever having to experience this.
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