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Top 3 Reasons You Need a Living Will

Our daily lives are filled with big and small decisions. Is it time to buy a new house? Should you really eat that second piece of cake? It’s very easy to become overwhelmed by your options and even to put off the decision making. One item you should decide on early is estate planning documents. Such records help everyone around you with major decisions about not only how your estate should be handled, but also how you should receive care. Among these documents is a living will. Basically, a living will supports your decisions on how you do or don’t want to be kept alive should you become unable to communicate. It enables you to share what life-prolonging treatments should be used.

Living Wills

Photo courtesy of Jérôme Dessommes / CC0

1. Make a hard time easier on those closest to you. If you’re unable to communicate to a healthcare professional, they will turn to someone in your life for guidance on how you should be treated. Will he/she know what you want done? Will he/she agree on the treatment you desire? Whether or not you’ve had a discussion about your medical care, a living will may relieve some of the pressure on your loved one. Having your wishes written out in a legal document means those close to you won’t be asked to make serious decisions during a difficult time.

2. Squash contention before it spirals out of control. It’s unlikely that your family members agree on every medical treatment option. However, it is possible that they may argue about what care you should or should not receive. Even though your loved ones will want what is best for you, their feelings about what that may be could differ enough to cause serious conflict. You don’t want concern for doing the right thing becoming a financially-draining melodrama that drags on in court. A living will can set the record straight and limit emotional quarreling.

3. Get the care you want; refuse the care you don’t. A living will addresses several life-prolonging treatments and allows you to decide whether or not you want them. Will you want artificial feeding? Is having a do not resuscitate (DNR) order important to you? Would you accept blood transfusions? It’s unlikely that your family members would remember, or maybe even know, all of the answers during an emergency. The best way to ensure your doctor knows what you want is to include a living will in your estate planning.

Some people hold off creating a living will because they don’t want to entertain the idea of a distressing situation where they are in a vegetative state. Others don’t bother with it because they believe their family members are on the same page and know what should be done. It’s best not to assume that everything will go smoothly during a crisis. We can help you plan ahead. With more than 30 years of experience related to living wills, we can walk you through each step, discuss your options, and help you make the best decision for you. Contact us through our website or call us at 910-893-8183 (Lillington, NC) or 919-901-3125 (Raleigh, NC).




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