Why Everyone Needs A Living Will
A living will is a legal document holding directives on the medical treatment decisions to be made, if, in the future, the person becomes unable to make such decisions. For instance, if an accident or terminal illness causes someone to go into a state of coma, a living will offer them an opportunity to inform family members or doctors of their wishes. Before deciding to make such a document, you should know of their advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of a Living Will
- Relieving family members: the primary benefit of a will is that it prevents family members from undergoing stress during challenging situations. It is tough to make life or death decision for someone, as family members will be perplexed and disturbed as to whether they are making the right decision. A will is helpful in situations where family members have contradicting views about the end of life care.
- Adhering to your personal beliefs: a living will let you stick to your own belief. For example, a person who sees the use of life support in keeping someone alive as not right can indicate that in their living will. If such an unfortunate event occurs, the family members and doctors will not be confused about what to do but grant the person’s wishes.
- Flexibility: You can simply rescind a will if you wish, and make a new one. To legalize this decision, you only have to inform your doctor and two witnesses.
Disadvantages of a Living Will
- Misinterpretation of the document: one major issue with a living will is that sometimes they might not be detailed enough, and could lead to misinterpretation. This could put the family members in a dilemma and could result in something different from the person’s real wish.
- Illegitimate document: occasionally, a person already struggling with a medical condition may not comprehend what is involved in signing a living will. In such situations, it may be difficult for them to make practical decisions due to their mental and emotional state. It is therefore crucial that the person understand the full implications of having a living will.
- Court intervention: in situations where the family and doctor have a contrasting interpretation of the person stated wish, the family might need the mediation of the law to resolve such cases. When preparing your living will, it is crucial to hire an attorney so that if need be, he can defend your interest.
Laws are different in every state. So be sure to check if it is eligible to have a living will in your resident state before going ahead to make them.
It is not compulsory to have a lawyer when creating a living will; however, you can get one who will defend your interest if the need arises. Moreover, consulting a lawyer could help you get a better view of your choices.