No one enjoys the feeling of powerlessness. When things are out of our control, it can send us scrambling into feelings of fear and anxiety. Unfortunately, it’s necessary to prepare for these circumstances.
If you couldn’t make medical decisions for yourself, who would do so on your behalf? This decision typically defaults to your next of kin. If you want someone specific to make those decisions, you need a living will.
A living will is a document that expresses your medical wishes when you are unable. If you don’t have one, continue reading to learn how to make a living will.
How to Make a Living Will
Living wills are essential documents that are just as important as last wills and testaments. If you need a last will and testament, a lawyer practicing probate law can help you draw up and facilitate that document.
Consider the Treatment Options You Want
A living will is all about how you want to live your final days. It also takes into account what treatments and medical procedures you want in the event you are unable to make those decisions. This involves stating your feelings on treatments and procedures.
Some of the considerations to consider include:
- Life support
- Life-sustaining treatments
- Body preservation and organ donation
- Palliative care
- Defining quality of life
- Efforts to sustain your life if you are gravely ill
- Cost of care
Choose a Health Care Proxy
A living will designates a health care proxy who will have medical power of attorney if you are incapacitated. People usually choose a spouse, child, relative, or friend to be their proxy. You should also select alternates if your first choice is unable or unwilling to carry out the responsibility.
Living wills are important for this reason so that only one person is making decisions on your behalf. Without a living will, arguments can occur among your loved ones if your wishes aren’t known, or your next of kin are siblings or your children. If, for some reason, you don’t want your family making these decisions, a living probate will beseech the court to elect a conservator for you.
Research State-Specific Guidelines
If you are unsure of what to put into a living will, states have an example of a living will via templates that you can use. You can download them through your state’s department website. If you have a unique medical situation, the template provided may not work for you.
If it doesn’t, you can create your living will as long as it contains the necessary information your state requires.
End of Life Care and More
One of the harsh realities of life is that tragedies happen. If something happens to you, a living will is the best way to mitigate as much stress as possible.
The key things to keep in mind when creating a living will are health care considerations, designating a health care proxy, and ensuring your living will adheres to state guidelines.
If you found this guide on how to make a living will helpful, please check out more of our resources. We have more information to help you make decisions about your life. Subscribe to our blog to stay up-to-date.