Avoiding Legal Trouble

Estate Planning Tools: 3 Reasons You Should Have A Living Will

People often make the mistake of believing that estate planning tools are irrelevant in their life simply because they do not have a large estate. However, the truth is, many of these tools are designed to benefit everyone, regardless of what their net worth may be. A living will is a perfect example of this type of estate planning tool. Below you will learn more about how a living will works and why everyone should have one.

Life Or Death Decisions Can Burden A Family

No one wants to be the person charged with the task of making a life or death decision on behalf of their loved one. Not only can these decisions cause your loved ones to second guess themselves for years to come, but they can also create tensions between family members who may not agree with your next of kin's decision. A living will allows you to avoid putting this type of burden on your family.

With a living will, you have the ability to leave advance directives regarding your medical care in a life or death situation. For instance, you will be able to give your doctors express instructions for when the use of life support is okay and when you would like this support taken away. By providing your doctors with this information through the use of a living will, you can save your family the burden of making these difficult decisions.

You Can Never Be Sure How A Loved One Will React

Even if you breach the sensitive topic of your future death with loved ones, you can never be sure of how your next of kin will react when the time comes. For instance, if you have shared the desire not to be kept alive using life support, your loved one may have agreed to this request only to find that they are unable to follow through with your wishes when they are faced with the emotions that accompany pulling the plug. Having a living will in place will ensure that your wishes are always observed despite the high emotions that can come along with your possible death.

Medical Decisions Can Be Extremely Time Sensitive

Before a major medical procedure can be completed, doctors will need to obtain consent from either you or your next of kin. In many cases, obtaining this consent will be an extremely time sensitive matter. If you are unconscious and your next of kin is not readily available, this can result in a very serious problem. This is yet another situation in which a living will can prove extremely beneficial.

With a living will in place, your doctors will be able to immediately get the consent they need to perform potentially life saving procedures, even if there is no one to accompany you to the hospital.

A Final Thought

Just as important as drafting a living will is ensuring that this document is legally binding. While there are many do-it-yourself documents available, taking a DIY approach will rarely be your best option. Instead, you should always choose to consult a qualified estate planning attorney (such as one from Cadwallader Law Offices) to help you draft your living will and ultimately ensure that this document serves the purpose it was intended to.