What Is a Living Will and How Do You Know If You Need One?

Have you been hearing the term living will wondering if it’s the document that your loved ones get after you pass away? If you are asking yourself “what is a living will?” then you are in the right place!

Keep reading to learn all about what a living will is and all the details you want to make sure you know.

What Is a Living Will?

Let’s dive right into what a living will is. This is a document that explains quite a few important things when you are not able to communicate your desires. It will have details such as if you want to be kept on life support or not if you were to become terminally ill. Whether you want pain medications, tube feeding, or artificial hydration.

This is not to be confused with a will which is also known as last will and testament. A living will is used while you are still alive to tell others what your personal choices are when it comes to end-of-life medical treatment. 

What If You Don’t Have a Living Will?

If you do not have a living will then typically family members find themselves making difficult decisions. If you are in a hospital or under a doctors care they will have to make a decision based on what they feel is best and it might not be in alignment with your wishes. 

It is best to have one just in case and never need it than to not have one and your loved ones find themselves needing one. Even if you are young and healthy it is best to have a living will in place.

How to Create a Living Will

Every state has different requirements for writing up a living will. This is why contacting a professional like Lees & Lees can take all the guesswork out of writing your living will. 

You can also opt to write yours yourself if you do make sure that you use reputable software to make sure that it is a legal binding document when all is said and done. If you have little to no knowledge of writing a living will we recommend leaving it to the experts. 

What to Include in Your Will

Some things you want to make sure you include in your living will are the types of pain management drugs you prefer to receive. Also, things like: Do you want a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) or a Do Not Intubate (DNI)? 

If you can no longer breathe on your own, make sure you specify what you want in that case. Include how you feel about feeding tubes if you are in a situation where you can no longer feed yourself. 

Think about any special medical conditions you have and include your choices for what to do under those conditions. The point is to include everything that will make medical decisions easier for your relatives during tough times where you can’t voice what you want.

Feeling Like a Living Will Pro?

Now that you know the answer to the question “what is a living will?” you can make sure that you prepare for the future because we never know what the future holds. Hopefully, you will never need it but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Did you find this blog post helpful? Make sure you check back often to always stay in the know!