What is a living will?

Rather than ask, “Why get a will?” ask, “What kind of will is right for my situation?” For many, it’s a living will.

When considering the question, remember that there is more than one type of will. A living will can be as important to your loved ones as any other type of will.

You make your wishes known regarding end-of-life treatment with a living will. If you’re ever in a situation where you cannot speak for yourself, a living will contains information for your family and doctors regarding what you want for medical treatment. “Why get a will?” should no longer be a question if you feel strongly about certain types of life prolonging medical treatment.
Many avoid discussing wills and testaments because it unavoidably leads to facing our mortality. The truth is, whether we choose to ignore it or face it prepared, the old adage that death, like taxes, is unavoidable, still applies.
If this situation occurs, certification by your doctor is usually required that you’re indeed suffering from a terminal illness or in permanently incapacitated state before a living will is put into effect. If you suffer some other malady, such as a heart attack, you can still be resuscitated, even if it states in your living will that you do not wish for procedures which will prolong your life. This is because living wills are only used when there is no hope for recovery. If your family asks you, “Why get a will?” you can give them a good answer.
You can make other provisions for situations where you’re unable to speak on your own behalf and your health situation is so bad that a living will becomes effective. One of these ways is to have a legal document assigning limited power of attorney. This gives that person the authority to make your decisions about health for you in situations like those previously mentioned. Discuss your wishes with them beforehand. Let them know the decisions you’ve made after answering, “Why get a will?”

You must speak with both your doctor and the one you’ve designated to make your medical decisions before a situation that would put a living will into effect arises. Your doctor can advise you on specific things you may want to mention in your living will.

Why get a will if I am dying anyway? Because your family may be left making a difficult decision without knowing what you want. This is a terrible burden to put on anyone, especially ones you care about.
Once you’ve decided to get a living will, you should look into the specific laws surrounding them. Every state has its own requirements for a living will. A lawyer can help you prepare a living will if the answer to, “Why get a will?” leads you to consider this type of will.