A Living Will, or Health Care Directive, is a legal document that declares your wishes regarding life support, end of life care, and declaring who can make medical decisions in the event that you are not able to make them for yourself. Many people believe that Living Wills are documents that are only needed when you are elderly or have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. While these are the ideal situations for having a Living Will on file, incapacitation and death are things that we do not plan for. Regardless of how young you are, it is a good idea to have a Living Will drawn up.
Join us in today's post as we discuss some of the reasons that you need a Living Will, even if you are 18 years old with no spouse or children. For help drafting your Living Will, contact the Law Offices of Charles R. Frazier.
Your Voice When You No Longer Have One You Want Your Wishes Known
Everyone has a different idea of what is a good quality of life and what they expect out of medical care. While many people know what a “Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)” order is — a declaration to withhold CPR or life-saving interventions when you are no longer breathing or are pulseless — many people are not aware that in a Living Will, you can make your wishes known for all aspects of medical care or end of life care. If there are specific procedures or lifesaving measures that you are willing to undergo to save your life, while there are others that you are not, you can designate this in your Living Will and prevent you from enduring a procedure or intervention you would not have consented to if you were consciously aware.
So Your Family Doesn't Have to Make Your Decisions
When you are conscious and well, it is easy to make claims about what you would do in certain situations. However, when the time comes to make difficult choices, especially when the life of a close loved one is dependent on them, it is not so easy. While we can say “if I am a vegetable, pull the plug” and everyone agrees, when your loved one is that “vegetable” and the “plug” is in your hands, black and white become very grey. Human instinct is to preserve life, to relentlessly fight to continue breathing. At the moment when you are facing the death of a loved one, it is not easy to make the final decision that will end their life. Imagine your loved one having to make that decision about you. Your Living Will will lift the burden of making such decisions from your loved ones and allow you to make them yourself.
Allows You to Control Your Life
There is a helpless feeling that can easily consume you when you feel like you are out of control in your own life. If you are incapacitated in a coma or left unable to speak after an injury or a stroke, but are completely aware, you are likely to feel even more helpless and out of control. A Living Will allows you to maintain the ability to make your own choices and decisions. Your life is yours and you should be able to continue controlling how you live that life, even when you are not in a state to verbalize your wishes while preventing confusion or disagreements between your loved ones.
Unlike a Will, which delegates assets upon your death, a Living Will allows you to make provisions regarding your medical care including life support measures and end-of-life care. When you create a Living Will, it is important to have someone who knows all the ins and outs of legal documents and can ensure that your Living Will is executed in such a manner that it will be honored in the event that it is needed. If you are considering executing a Living Will, contact the Law Offices of Charles R. Frazier for your consultation. Our estate attorney has years of experience in Nashville law. Schedule your consultation today.