Do You Really Need a Living Will?
A trip to the hospital will usually have the staff asking if you have a living will. If you indicate that you do not, you will be prompted to create something. If you do not understand the ins and outs of a living will, it may seem unnecessary in that moment. Find out why a living will is something everyone should create and the instances where it may stop you from undergoing unintentional pain and suffering at the hands of those who love you most.
The Primary Purpose of a Living Will
A living will is considered an advanced directive in terms of medical care. It is a document you create when you are of sound mind and body that expresses your wishes regarding end-of-life medical care. A living will does not stop the medical facility from treating you, but it does allow them to stop certain life-saving measures should you be deemed unresponsive for a predetermined period.
The Coverage a Living Will Can Provide
Understanding a living will is crucial when creating it. The standard form a hospital will give usually only deals with life support measures. This means that should you be found to be in a vegetative state and declared brain dead, you have the right to decide if you want to be kept alive by machines. This is the most common instance a living will triggers. However, a living will should encompass other situations such as mental health failings or extreme pain during the final stages of life. If you want to enter hospice care, a living will can expedite the process. Likewise, if you want every measure taken to extend your life, you can share that in the document as well.
The Process of Following a Living Will
When you become unresponsive or unable to communicate, the medical staff will seek out your living will. If you created a living will in advance, you probably indicated a trusted person who you wish to grant your authority to, so that they can make medical decisions on your behalf. While this is typically a spouse or loved one, it does not always have to be. You should choose someone who will respect your wishes, even if they are emotionally painful to do. Even if you did not appoint someone to make decisions, a medical facility will not follow the living will without a relative or court sign-off.
The estate planning lawyer you visit should help you further understand the importance of a living will. Failing to do so may prevent your wishes from being carried out during a time of your life when your voice cannot be heard. If you are in need of some extra help, a Sacramento lawyer for wills from a firm like Yee Law Group, PC can be of assistance.