While wills seem to get the bulk of the attention when people talk about establishing an estate plan, living wills are also a critical component of a strong estate plan. A living will is very different from a will, which is primarily used to designate how assets should be distributed upon a person’s death. A living will comes into play while a person is still alive. It is important for everyone to have a living will in place regardless of age or health because life is inevitably filled with unforeseen circumstances that can befall us when we least expect it.
Do I Need a Living Will?
A living will outlines your end of life medical care preference and comes into effect should you be in a terminal condition and unable to express these preferences for yourself. Therefore, a living will is used while you are still alive, but unable to communicate due to the severity of your medical situation.
A living will can identify medications or procedures you would want or not want used to prolong your life. It specifies personal choices regarding your medical treatment wishes regarding end-of-life medical care. These preferences can deeply reflect a person’s central values.
It is important that everyone have a living will in place. While thinking about end-of-life scenarios may not be pleasant, knowing that your wishes are memorialized in a legal document can grant you what might be unexpected peace of mind about the future. In a life full of uncertainties, you can rest assured that your wishes are memorialized and will be honored should the need arise.
A living will is not only beneficial to the person who establishes it, it is also beneficial to the person’s loved ones. Should the time come when you are in critical condition, but unable to communicate your health care wishes, your family will be placed in an incredibly emotional and difficult situation. The reality of your status will be more than enough for them to process without them being forced to guess at what you would have wanted. Alleviate your loved ones of this overwhelming burden by making your wishes clear in a living will.
This is all to say that, yes, everyone needs a living will. Regardless of age, health, life standing, wealth, or lack of wealth, none of us are immune from the unexpected medical condition arising or tragic accident befalling us. Prepare yourself and your loved ones for the unexpected by putting protective measures in place such as a living will. Used in conjunction with other estate planning documents such as a health care surrogate, you can help ensure that you are always given the medical care you want, regardless of whether you are able to voice your preferences or not.
Minnesota Estate Planning Attorney
A strong, comprehensive estate plan is important for a number of reasons. There is no time to delay because the unexpected can befall us at any moment. Contact Unique Estate Law today.