Drafting a living will – also known as an advance healthcare directive – is a crucial step in helping to ensure that your medical wishes are respected and honored if you are unable to communicate them due to incapacity caused by illness or injury.
A living will can also provide clarity and guidance to your loved ones and medical professionals regarding your end-of-life decisions. If you haven’t yet drafted one, here are two solid motivations to make this effort.
Advocate for your own healthcare preferences
A living will allows you to make personalized healthcare decisions that align with your values, beliefs, and preferences. By clearly documenting your medical wishes, you can better maintain control over the type of medical treatment you receive in specific situations. This can include decisions about life support, resuscitation, pain management, organ donation and more.
Having a living will can eliminate ambiguity and ensures that your healthcare decisions are respected, even if you are unable to communicate them. It can also relieve the burden on your loved ones, who may otherwise have to make difficult choices on your behalf without knowing your wishes.
Reduce the risk of conflict and stress for your loved ones
One of the significant benefits of a living will is that it helps reduce potential family conflict and emotional distress during challenging times. In situations where there is no clear direction regarding medical treatment, family members may have different opinions on how to proceed. This can lead to disagreements, tension and emotional strain.
A living will provides explicit instructions and relieves your loved ones from the burden of making difficult decisions. It helps to remove the potential for disputes among family members and ensures that medical professionals have clear guidance on the care you desire.
Drafting a legally-enforceable living will isn’t always a straightforward process. Seeking legal guidance can help to better ensure that your interests are protected as you take steps to make your wishes known.