If you have put a lot of time and effort into crafting your estate plan, then you understand the importance of planning for the future and taking care of your loved ones once you are no longer around. But there is an essential part of an estate plan – called a living will – that can help to protect you and your family before your death, and is key to being prepared for all possibilities.
What living wills do
Although it contains the word “will,” a living will is only in effect while you are alive. It is a set of instructions outlining your desires for your healthcare.
For example, a living will may declare whether you wish medical professionals to extend your life artificially if you are in a coma, or if you prefer them to allow you to pass away naturally. It may also designate a certain person to make important healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so on your own.
Why they are important
An effective living will addresses many possible outcomes, such as what your desires are if you are in a coma, if you are paralyzed, if you have a stroke and are unable to speak, and so forth. They can also include instructions as to whether you prefer to live with family or in an assisted care facility if you are unable to live on your own.
With a thorough living will in place, your loved ones will not have to make guesses as to what you may want. They can read your own words, and take care of you in the manner that you think is best for yourself.
It’s not easy planning for your death, and it can be even more difficult to plan for a future in which you are incapacitated. But if such an unfortunate event were to occur, your loved ones would be extremely grateful for your foresight.