Most people do not like to think about their death. In many people, the thought about the end of their life brings about some form of existential crisis. However, as much as people dislike thinking or talking about it, preparation is necessary. A living will, or an advanced directive, is a way for people to be in control of their medical decisions even if they are unconscious. However, there are several things you need to understand and discuss with an estate lawyer, like from the Yee Law Group, about a living will.
- Governed By State Regulations
A living will is a legal document, and as such, state regulations govern it. While there are many forms available online, make sure that any paperwork you fill out and file complies with your state.
- Legally Binding but Changeable
When a living will is filed, it is a legally binding contract with your medical team and family. However, you still have the power to change your advanced directive whenever you want, but you must do so following standard contractual guidelines. It is not enough to tell someone you want the change; it must be witnessed, written and verified.
- Enacted Only with a Second Opinion
It is not enough for a single doctor to claim you are unconscious. Before they enact your living will, a second doctor must examine you and determine that you are medically unable to make decisions for yourself.
- Used By All Age Groups
Many young people have a misconception about their own mortality. They think creating a living will is only necessary for older individuals. Unfortunately, everyone is susceptible to an unnatural death. Car accidents, infections and any matter of circumstances can lead or cause someone to die before their time.
- About Treatment Overall
Too many people assume a living will is only used to determine when a doctor should pull the plug. These documents are used to specify treatment for when you become incapacitated. Therefore, while end-of-life care is part of the living will, it is not everything.
- Designate a Healthcare Agent
A living will allows you to designate a healthcare agent. You can name someone who will make your medical decisions when you can’t.
- Compliance Is Not Mandatory
A doctor does not have to comply with a living will, but most do. Your family can also fight your will in court, but many families don’t.
Everyone should have a living will because life is unpredictable. If you are interested in creating a living will, then contact a local estate planning attorney.