When many people think of estate planning, they tend to think of the wealthy. This is because many individuals do not view their modest means as constituting an estate. However, the truth is, everyone has an estate that must be managed, even if the monetary value of their assets is virtually nonexistent. This is because your estate not only covers your assets, but your debts, your financial decisions, and your medical care as well. This is why estate planning tools, such as a living will, can be so incredibly beneficial to people from all walks of life. Below you will learn more about how drafting a living will can benefit you.
Leave Behind A Legacy Not A Burden
If you are ever seriously injured in an accident or become extremely ill, you may not be able to make medical decisions for yourself. In these situations, your next of kin will be required to make decisions that could ultimately be the difference between life and death. Forcing your loved ones to make these difficult decisions can be an incredible burden, especially if their decisions would ultimately mean the end of your life.
If you are opposed to the use of life support or other controversial medical services, asking a loved one to refuse these services on your behalf may be more than they can bear. Choosing to draft a living will that provides advanced directives for your care will prevent your family from having to make these difficult decisions in your absence.
Be Sure Your Wishes Are Always Observed
Simply telling a family member or friend your feelings on certain controversial issues is no guarantee that these wishes will be observed in your time of need. After all, even the most reliable family members may not be present at the time an accident occurs or may be unable to follow through with your wishes for moral reasons of their own.
When you draft a living will and file a copy of this will with your physician or local hospital, you can be sure that your wishes will always be honored even if you arrive at the hospital alone and your next of kin cannot be reached. This document will also allow you to ensure that medical treatment can be given right away rather than waiting for your next of kin to arrive in order to give their consent for any procedures you may require.
A Final Thought
There are many do-it-yourself documents that claim to let you draft your own living will. Unfortunately, these do-it-yourself documents may not hold up in court unless they are properly witnessed and filed. In order to ensure that your living will can stand up to scrutiny, you should always have this important document drafted by a reputable estate attorney in your local area.