Your living will is a written record of the kind of medical care you would want to receive in specific circumstances. This becomes extremely important if you are unable to speak up for yourself about the care that you wish to receive. This can affect you with a permanent or temporary illness or injury.
A living will helps to clear up confusion and provide a clear roadmap for the care you wish to undertake and it removes the additional stress of your family members trying to make this decision on their own or arguing with one another about it. Living wills typically take effect after a doctor certifies that you are indeed incapacitated and near the end of your life.
Your document should include your express wishes around care that you do and do not want near the end of your life. There are three major options that you should consider listing in your living will:
- That you wish to receive all treatments that could prolong your life.
- That you never want to receive certain treatments regardless of the consequences or the situation associated with forgoing any care.
- That you do not want to be resuscitated if your injury or illness progresses to a certain stage, and in this case, you would want to define that certain stage.
Your instructions in your living will should be as specific and as clear as possible. Perhaps you have feelings about treatments, such as chemotherapy, dialysis or artificial nutrition. Your health care proxy will use your living will in these circumstances to speak up about your medical care, so it is extremely important that you consider how this can be used to allow your loved ones to make these important care decisions for you.
Contact a Pasadena estate planning lawyer for more help.