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Why Do You Need a Living Will?

August 20, 2013

Gallatin Wills AttorneyIf you’re like us, you probably find it pretty easy to plan for exciting vacations and fun-filled holidays. However, when it comes to planning for your future in the event of a serious illness or injury, you’re probably less motivated to make the most important decisions. But if you have ever had a friend or family member become very ill, you know how difficult it can be for his/her loved ones, especially when it comes to making decisions about medical treatment.

If you were seriously injured tomorrow, would your family know exactly what kind of medical treatment you’d like to receive? Would they know what type of life support you’d prefer to deny?

If you don’t have a living will, chances are that the answer is NO.

It might be difficult for you to imagine falling ill. Accordingly, taking steps toward setting up a living will may not be high on your priority list. But before you delay in planning for your future, consider the following benefits of living wills:

Living wills help you to…

Make sure your healthcare wishes are carried out.

The living will explains which types of medical care you’d like to accept, and which ones you’ve decided to refuse. Many people have very different opinions about long-term life support, dialysis, tube-feeding, etc. Living wills give you the chance to make your intentions clear about these and other types of medical care.

Reduce stress for concerned loved ones.

If you’ve ever been responsible for deciding how an unresponsive patient should be treated, you already know that this is an extremely difficult situation. By setting up a living will, you give your loved ones confidence by making your healthcare decisions in advance. With the living will, you can also make sure that financial responsibilities do not overwhelm your family. By limiting the total amounts which should be spent on your hospital, medical, and funeral bills, you can relieve your family of a great financial burden.

State your intentions for organ donation (if any).

For those willing to give the gift of life, living wills provide a means to clarify intentions related to organ and tissue donation. If these intentions are not clarified before an individual falls ill, the organ donation may be impossible because of uncertainty over whether or not he/she would have wanted it.

If you have questions about a living will, you should find a competent, trusted attorney. Call Ken Phillips at 615-461-7174 to find out more about living wills and the other advance directive documents included in our Wills package.

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