A Living Will is the Most Important Document to Complete
Writing a living will is perhaps something none of us want to talk about or even think about, but even if you are currently in perfect health, it's always a good idea to think about a living will and what your wishes would be in the case of a serious accident. Writing a living will is not as challenging as it may first seem with the proper professional help and planning. If you do one thing for your family this month, write a living will and save them the potential heart ache of having to make decisions for you.
Living Will Creates Family Peace of Mind
A living will is one of the most important documents that a person can complete. Not only will it give you piece of mind, but a living will can create peace of mind for your entire family. Some of us don't want to talk about such matters or even think about them because we're young and in good health. Some may wonder, what is a living will? A living will is a document that gives instructions on how to proceede with medical decesions in the event that you are not mentally capable of deciding for yourself.
Scary as it may be, we all face the possibility of having a serious accident and being unable to communicate our wishes. If you were to become unconscious because of such an accident, who would speak for you? There is the possibility of facing a serious illness or being left in a vegetative state. If you don't make your wishes clear in writing, your family won't be sure what to do or even worse, a judge may make the decisions for you. A living will is your assurance that your wishes will be carried out. Failing to put your wishes in writing can lead to a lot of unrest in your family, so a living will is a very important document to let your family know what your feelings are regarding these issues.
Your next question is probably, "how do I write a living will?" The first step is to make some hard decisions. The first thing you'll need to decide is who your executor, or the person who is responsible for carrying out your wishes, will be. Often times the exeucutor of a living will is a spouse, responsible child, or legal representative. Next, you'll need to make a list of your assessts and decide where they should go in the event of your death or serious mental impairment. Your assests include everything from personal memetos to mutal funds and retirement savings. Make a note of any special items you want to leave to specific people. If you have dependent children, you will have to make the difficult choice of who will become their legal gaurdian in the event you are unable to care for them. It's also wise to choose a back up guardian in case your first choice in unable to care for the children for some reason.
You'll need to clarify your wishes for medical treatement in your living will. If you don't want to be placed on life support, make that known. If you want a DNR, (do not resuscitate) then make this clear. If you want to be an organ donor, this is something else you can state in your living will. You will also need to specify where and how you want to place your remains in the event of your death (i.e. burial, creamation, donation, etc.)
Most living wills can be obtained online or from your lawyer's office. It's important to know which type of living will your state will acknowledge. For example, the five wishes document, which is one of the most popular living wills because of the fact that its written in plain English, isn't acknowledged in all states. If you obtain your documents online, do the necessary research to find out if this living will is going to be accepted in your state. The next thing to do is go over the document carefully, read each part and make sure you've filled it out correctly, making your wishes abundantly clear. Choose two responsible adults to serve as witnesses of the document (one is usually your lawyer). If necessary, give your executor a Power of Attorney, just to make sure that no one will try to overturn his or her decisions on your behalf. A living will can give your and your family added piece of mind. Don't put off writing this important document. We never know what the future may hold.