Unlike the Last Will and Testament which gives directives on how exactly your property is to be shared among your family, a Living Will is a document that offers medical directions should you be incapacitated to make those decisions yourself. If you are suffering a serious condition that inhibits your judgment, decisions concerning your health and medical condition will be executed in line with your living will. In the absence of this important legal document, then your family is responsible to make decisions regarding your health thereafter.
About 72% of American seniors have a living will and it’s never too late to have yours ready, whether you are in your early 20s or late 90s. As you consider that, here are 5 most crucial things you need to keep in mind about living wills.
In many states, a living will is treated similarly to any legal document, meaning it’s binding. This document clearly gives directives for your health care should you become severely sick, unconscious, and unable to make decisions about your well-being.
For this advance directive to come into effect, the doctors assigned to you must verify and agree that your condition clearly impairs your judgment or inhibits your ability to make any decision. In the event where you are ill but responsive and able to consent to treatments, a living will is rendered inoperative.
A living will is only valid if it meets notarization standards directed by the state laws. But since it’s your wishes in question, you are the only one who can either change, update or revoke a will. This directive immediately takes effect when you sign it or when you become incapacitated to consent to a treatment. Lawyers and other legal experts advise people to periodically modify their living wills to reflect their current health state.
Considering that accidents are never invited, a living will is practically a mandatory for people of all ages. This piece of a document will relieve you and your family a lot of pressure since as it clearly states your healthcare wishes.
Lastly, a living will has other functions other than triggering mercy killing. It can be used to specify the kind of treatment you want in promoting good health or alleviating pain. In addition, the document can also be used to direct doctors to administer any different kinds of treatments just to keep you alive.
With these pointers, you now understand the need to have a living will ready for eventualities. Trusts and wills are important features to protect you and your family in the future. If you are not sure how to go about preparing your will, seek legal help.