A living will is a legal document in which a person makes certain decisions about medical treatment and end-of-life care should they be too ill or injured to make these choices later. There is a common misconception that only older folks need living wills, but, in reality, any adult of legal age can benefit from having one of these documents in place. Here’s why you should have one.
What Are the Advantages of a Living Will?
1. Have Control Over Your Own Care
A living will speaks for you when you can no longer communicate. You can decide what treatments and life-sustaining measures you do or don’t want to receive. Many people have opinions and preferences—ethical, religious, or otherwise—about what kind of care they get.
For instance, they may or may not want breathing tubes put in, artificial nourishment administered, or resuscitative measures performed. A will lets them make these choices clear so that they can maintain control over their care even if illness or injury prevents them from speaking later.
2. Avoid Disputes
Without a living will, care decisions fall to your closest family members, they might not know for sure what you would want. This can lead to disagreements about what steps to take, potentially driving a wedge between those you love most. A living will spells out in plain language what you want to happen, leaving little room for loved ones to misinterpret your wishes.
3. Ease Financial Burdens
Many people take into account the cost of lengthy hospital stays and long-term healthcare facilities when they design a living will. The bills for treatment will eventually be your loved ones' responsibility should you pass away.
You might choose to stipulate in the document that if there’s no reasonable hope for recovery, life-sustaining measures should not be taken. This way, you’re alleviating a financial burden on your loved ones by reducing medical bills.
If you want to design a living will, We the People of NY is here to help. Since 2006, they have been providing New York City with legal document preparation services. From standard and living wills to simple divorces and easy bankruptcies, they’ll guide you through the process and prepare all documents correctly and to the letter of the law. Call (212) 633-2200 or visit their website for more information on their services.