When the time comes, wouldn't you love to save your loved ones from any unnecessary trauma and expense? It's a wise choice to take time to plan ahead for the day when you might not be able to make any more choices on your own behalf. Living wills can quickly be created without the help of a lawyer. They make your choices and desires known when you can't and so you're family won't have to.
But living wills are not your last will and testament. It doesn't involve issues like probate or distributing your assets to your family or friends. They are also called advance directives and are primarily used to either express your wishes if you are incapacitated or to appoint someone to speak on your behalf. Simply put, this person or the form itself speaks for you - fulfilling your wishes if you become unconscious or terminally ill.
How are living wills created?
The forms can be found for each individual state. It's important to make it apply to the state you are a legal resident of, in order to comply with that state's law. These forms may also be obtained from your family doctor. This form may need to be witnessed by two people and it may also require notarization.
One of the most important aspects of this vital form is who you choose as your representative. They don't need to be related to you, but they certainly should be trustworthy. It's also helpful, but not necessary, for this person to live generally in the same area as you for close proximity in case of emergency.
Another great aspect of this form is for expressing your desire to be an organ donor and for your final arrangements. But, you are not locked into your decisions until you become permanently unconscious which must be determined by a medical expert. Up until that time, you still have the power to change your mind from the time of the form's creation.
Make sure you give a copy of your advance directive form to your representative, your physician, any other healthcare providers and any other family members or friends who may become involved.
Some of the medical options you will need to choose are the following situations. All of these are on a "as-needed" basis.
1. If CPR should be performed.
2. If you should receive oxygen.
3. If you should be kept alive through artificial feeding and hydration.
4. If you should need dialysis.
5. If you should need pain medicines.
It's not possible to cover every single aspect of living wills in this article, but I hope to have given you some food for thought.
Peace of mind is what you will receive - for you and your loved ones. Remember, they will already be going through a tremendous amount of suffering if this time comes in your life. You will want to make some easy choices now in order to save them more difficult ones later.
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