You might have heard of a Living Will, but do you know what it’s for and why it’s important that you have one? It’s common to assume that you don’t need to think about estate planning or creating a will until you’re much older, but the truth is that tomorrow isn’t promised for anyone. If you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself either due to injury or illness, a Living Will is essential. In this article, we will go over the most frequently asked questions we receive at our law firm in Fairfield NJ.
What Is a Living Will?
A Living Will, sometimes called an Advance Directive, is a legal document that details what kind of medical treatment you do or do not want in a variety of specific medical scenarios. For example, if you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness, become unconscious and need a life-saving treatment like a breathing tube, your Living Will instructs your medical team on whether or not you want a breathing tube to be put in.
When you create a Living Will, you and your estate planning attorney will review a variety of potential medical scenarios and you will declare what action to take or who has the jurisdiction over you to make those vital decisions. Health care decisions and medical treatment are highly personal things, and you have the right to decide what care you do or do not want, even when you’re incapacitated.
Why Have a Living Will?
Living Wills are invoked when a person is facing a life-threatening condition and is unable to communicate their wishes for their medical care. Unfortunately there’s no way to know if you’ll be involved in a life-threatening accident, or if you’ll contract a terminal illness. It’s best to be prepared for every possible outcome, and a Living Will allows you to do exactly that.
FAQs About Living Wills
Q: Do doctors consult Living Wills for routine medical care?
A: No. Living Wills are only used when the person is facing a life-threatening condition.
Q: I’m in my 20s. Am I too young to have a Living Will?
A: No, people of all ages should have a Living Will. Especially, if they have valuable assets that they’d like to pass onto loved ones.
Q: How can I create a Living Will?
A: Contact a trusted estate planning attorney who can help you create this important document and add it to your wider estate plan.