A living will is an important document that details your wishes regarding:
- Life support
- Artificial hydration
- Tube feeding
- Pain medication
By creating this document, you express your desire for or refusal of certain medical treatment if you find yourself unable to make your own decisions due to an injury, terminal illness or unconsciousness. If you do not have a living will yet, you may be on the fence about writing one. However, you should not wait too long to create one. Here are a few factors you should consider to help you determine if you want a living will:
What is your mindset towards end-of-life care?
Of course, the most important thing to think about is your opinions about life support. Do you want to live as long as possible even if you are in a vegetative state? Or would you rather pass away? If you have strong feelings about either one, you must have a living will.
Do you want to help your family members and friends?
Even if you do not have any strong viewpoints about medical treatment at the end of your life, you may still want a living will to make things easier for your loved ones. If the people you love need to make difficult decisions later, they may find comfort in the fact that they can follow your wishes. When family members must make these choices on their own, it can be painful and tumultuous.
Where should I keep my living will?
If you establish this estate planning document, you put time, money, energy and emotions into creating it. Therefore, it is crucial to store it in a safe yet easily accessible place. For one, you should provide a copy to your doctor so that it is officially in your medical records. You should keep the original document in a secure place in your home and tell your family where to find it.