Why You Need a Living Will

fortpitt in Estate Planning 22 December, 2021

A living will is a legal document known by various terms, including an advanced directive, healthcare directive, or a declaration regarding life-prolonging purposes. This document is something that nearly everyone should have, since it’s often used in sudden or unexpected circumstances.

What Is a Living Will?

If you’re terminally ill or injured and unconscious, a living will gives directions to your care provider about the medical treatment you want to receive.

It’s important to note that a living will is not a last will and testament. A last will and testament is what most people think of when discussing a general will. Last will and testaments become active after one’s death and determine the distribution of property. A living will becomes active when someone is still alive but unable to communicate their wishes.

What Is the Purpose of a Living Will?

A living will allows you to declare what kind of medical care you’d like to receive (or forgo) if you’re terminally ill or permanently unconscious and can’t decide on your treatment. Without a living will, your doctor or a third party such as a parent, spouse, or child will be in charge of making these decisions for you. These people may not know your desires or can choose not to follow them without the legal binding afforded by a living will.

What Is Included in a Living Will?

In your living will, you’ll specify if you want:

  • To receive palliative care or care to decrease pain and suffering.
  • To receive tube feeding/artificial hydration and for how long.
  • Extraordinary life-sustaining measures taken to keep you alive, like CPR.
  • To be kept on a ventilator or receive dialysis and for how long.
  • To donate your organs after death.

How to Write a Living Will

Requirements for a living will depend on your state. Many people choose to go through a lawyer to write their living will. However, if you want to avoid the fees associated with using an attorney, you can look into estate planning software. These programs allow you to create a living will, a last will and testament, designate a power of attorney, and much more.

Consult With Fort Pitt Capital Group

While you’re considering such important documents relating to the end of your life, think about getting your finances in order as well with Fort Pitt Capital Group. We’ll help secure your finances and, in the event you become incapacitated, we’ll ensure all of your financial wishes are fulfilled. Learn more about our services today, or connect with us to discuss your options

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