Predicting the future is impossible. You may not know what is going to happen, but there are certain things you can do to still have a measure of control. Estate planning is a way for you to decide what happens to your money and assets upon your passing, but there are legal tools available that also allow you to make decisions regarding your own health care in case of incapacitation.
One of the tools you may consider adding to your estate plan is a living will. A living will allows you to outline your wishes regarding medical care and health care in the event that you are unable to speak for yourself. It's your body, and a living will helps protect your right to decide what happens to it.
What can a living will do for you?
A living will is not actually like a will at all. It sometimes goes by the name of health care directive, and it lets you clearly state your wishes for health care in case of serious illness or injury. A living will offers you the following benefits:
- It allows you to decide what health care measures you do not want. For example, some people do not want a ventilator to keep them alive.
- It provides you a way to clearly outline wishes so that your family does not have to make those choices for you.
- A living will allows you to ask for specific medical treatments while still rejecting other types that go against your wishes or beliefs.
There are many misconceptions about living wills. For example, some people believe that if they have a living will, a doctor will not do everything in his or her power to save their lives. That is simply not true. One of the great benefits of having a living will is to have peace of mind regarding your own care and to protect your family from carrying the burden of making difficult medical decisions on your behalf.
Completing your estate plan
Your estate plan is not complete until it has all of the necessary protections in place to keep your interests secure. No two estate plans are alike, and you would be wise to consider the other tools available to you that could help both you and your family. This may include adding a living will to your existing plan.
Through thorough planning and careful consideration of your wishes and objectives, you can design an estate plan that suits your unique needs. If you do not have a living will yet or wish to explore the benefits of other estate planning tools, you have no time to lose.