A couple signing paperwork for a living will

The Importance of Living Wills for End of Life Care

What is a Living Will?

Have you ever asked yourself “what is a living will?” or “how does a living will work?” Living wills provide legal support to ensure you receive the care you need, and prevent extraneous care that may extend your life without adding to quality of life. Both health and financial experts recommend creating a living will to facilitate medical decisions in case of serious health issues in the future. Free living will templates are available to help you complete the task. Now, let’s look at living wills and how they can help provide security for your future medical needs.

Most people understand that a “will” is a legal document that disperses your money and property after your death. A “living will” is also a legal document, but its purpose is to inform health professionals about your wishes regarding treatment if you are no longer able to communicate your wishes directly.

A living will might cover whether you wish to be put on life support, whether you are intubated, have a feeding tube inserted, or whether you are resuscitated if you stop breathing. A living will is a legally binding document that can also prevent arguments among family members about how much care you receive at the end of your life.

How Does A Living Will Work?

Generally, each state provides a form for individuals to fill out and sign to state their wishes for medical treatment in extreme medical situations. If you become incapacitated for any reason, such as becoming permanently unconscious, or suffer a severe injury or a terminal illness, the document will protect your wishes regarding treatment.

Members of your family should have a copy of your living will or should informed about where you keep it. You should be aware of your state’s requirements regarding notarization or witnesses for the document to ensure it’s fully compliant with the law.

Living Will vs Advance Directive

A living will is a type of advance directive. Therefore, it would be included in the larger category of advance directives. These definitions can vary from state to state. Your state may provide specific forms for future medical decisions, which may be titled as living will vs advance directive. Generally, a living will enumerate which types of treatment you find acceptable in the case of a terminal illness. It may also list the type of spiritual care you prefer to receive at the end of life. Free printable living will forms may be available from your state to make this task easier.

Making Decisions About Your Living Will

Decisions about end-of-life care are a very personal matter and can vary from one person to another. You should think carefully about your personality and what makes life worthwhile for you before putting your decision into a living will. You can find free printable living will forms online to help spark your thinking about these important matters. Take time to consider your answers and discuss matters with your loved ones to help clarify your thinking. Then, fill out the example living will form.

You can also take some time to consider your answers and see if you want to make any changes on some parts of the example living will form before having it notarized. There’s no need to feel rushed about completing the task. It’s more important to feel you have provided the information the way you intend it.

Although many people find it difficult to tackle end-of-life paperwork, your efforts will make the task much easier for your loved ones and will ensure you have the treatment you desire. Free living will templates are available online to provide help for taking care of these important decisions.