Living wills, also known as advance medical care directives, are essential components of a comprehensive estate plan. These documents allow individuals to leave instructions regarding their medical care and treatment should they become unable to make these decisions themselves. In addition to providing someone you trust with a medical power of attorney, a living will can grant you a significant amount of control over your medical care.
4 Advantages of Writing a Living Will
1. Refusing Medical Care
Many people elect to refuse certain types of medical treatment in their living wills, such as feeding tubes or resuscitation. For many, these instructions eliminate the risk of receiving treatments that violate religious beliefs or could lead to unacceptable outcomes.
2. Describing Acceptable Outcomes
Along with declining specific types of treatment, a living will allows you to determine and declare acceptable health care scenarios. For instance, if you are unlikely to emerge from a persistent vegetative state, you can use your estate planning document to advise doctors whether or not this result is acceptable.
3. Avoiding Family Friction
Decisions regarding the health care of incapacitated loved ones can easily spark arguments. In some cases, these sensitive subjects can tear families apart. With a living will, you will alleviate this burden for your family members, along with the pain and bitterness such situations can inspire.
4. Pre-Authorizing Medical Treatments
Many types of medical treatment require explicit authorization from the patient. In your health care directive, you can grant authorization in advance, ensuring you get the medical attention you want as quickly as possible.
Steve Butcher Sr., Esq. is a skilled attorney in Rochester, NY, with over 25 years of experience guiding individuals through the estate planning process. To schedule an initial consultation, visit their website or call (585) 263-2444, or like them on Facebook for updates.