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Understanding What’s a Living Will and When You Need It

Person signing a living will. But what's a living will?

Are you wondering what’s a living will? A living will tells your family and loved ones your wishes for end-of-life care should you become incapable of making decisions. Understanding when you need a living will and the process to put one together can help ensure you have control over what happens at the end of your life.

What’s a Living Will?

A living will, also known as an advance directive, is a legally binding document that outlines your wishes for medical care and end-of-life decisions. It tells your family, friends and healthcare providers what kinds of treatments you do or don’t want to receive if you become seriously ill or injured and cannot communicate your wishes. Examples of medical treatments you may specify include using artificial ventilation, CPR, dialysis, blood transfusions, and organ transplants.

Living Will vs. Living Trust

Many people confuse living wills and living trusts. We have a quick summary of the differences on our blog How a Living Will Works and Why You Need One.

When Do You Need a Living Will?

Generally, you should draft a living will when you are in good mental and physical health. This way, if something happens to your health, your wishes for care will already be established. It’s also important to update your living will every few years or whenever any major life changes occur, such as marriage, divorce or childbirth. Having an up-to-date living will ensures that your current wishes and decisions concerning medical care will be honored even if circumstances change in the future.

Who Should You Talk to Before Making a Living Will?

Before you draft your living will, make sure to talk with the people that might be affected by the document. This could include family members, friends or medical professionals. It is important to discuss the details of your wishes so that everyone is on the same page. When talking with health care providers, ask what type of life-sustaining treatments are available and which situation they would deem appropriate for them given their expertise.

How to Create a Living Will.

Creating a living will is not difficult, but it requires you to make some tough decisions about your health and well-being. When creating your living will, consider the following: determine which treatments you would or would not want to receive in specific medical emergencies; select a proxy who can make decisions on your behalf if needed; list possible end-of-life preferences; and provide signed copies to everyone involved in the document.

Questions to Ask Before Reviewing Your Options for a Living Will.

Before creating your living will, it’s important to ask yourself some questions and make sure that you understand the implications of the document. Try to answer the following questions:

  • What types of medical intervention would you want or refuse if you were in a particular situation?
  • What end-of-life preferences can you identify?
  • Who should be made aware of your living will, and how will they be able to access it in an emergency?
  • How often should the document be updated?

Let’s Get Your Living Will In Place.

Are you prepared for the unexpected? A living will is a crucial legal document that ensures your end-of-life wishes are respected and followed. At Sudden Wealth Protection Law, we understand the importance of protecting your future and the well-being of your loved ones.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Take control of your medical treatment and make your wishes known with a living will. Call us at 602-443-4888 today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. Our team will guide you through the process and help you create a comprehensive living will tailored to your specific needs.

Protect your peace of mind and secure your family’s future. Call us today to get started.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Founding attorney Paul Deloughery has been an attorney since 1998, became a Certified Family Wealth Advisor. He is also the founder of Sudden Wealth Protection Law.

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