The wonderful thing about estate planning in the 21st century is having so many options at your disposal. The legal documents you add to your estate plan can cover almost any issue that concerns you. A living will, for example, helps you address catastrophic health issues that may arise at any point in your life.
It is an estate planning document that empowers you to inform others about your personal choices regarding medical treatments. Say you become severely injured or ill and cannot express your wishes. A living will allows you to speak for yourself without saying a single word.
What can you address in a living will?
You have broad latitude regarding the medical care issues you can address in a living will. With this estate planning tool, you can leave detailed instructions about what types of care you want and do not want.
For example, you can specify in a living will whether you want life-prolonging treatment when you are in dire medical circumstances. Below are three examples of such medical treatments.
- The use of a ventilator to help you breathe
- The use of an intravenous (IV) tube to give you fluids and medicine
- The use of feeding tubes to continue nourishing your body
You can also specify what you do not want to happen if you are nearing the end of your life. For example, you can request not to receive any life-prolonging treatments, choosing instead to receive only pain-relieving measures as you approach death.
Although these topics are uncomfortable for many people to think about, most feel greatly relieved once they have added a living will to their estate plans. If you wish to learn about other estate planning options, consider reaching out to an attorney for additional guidance.