Why would you need to plan a living will?

When you think about your estate planning, you might focus your attention on how you are going to provide for your loved ones after you are gone. What about while you are still alive, though? How can you and other Detroit residents take care of your needs if something were to incapacitate you?

An effective tool to make sure your loved ones know about your wishes regarding life-support and end-of-life care is the living will, states U.S. News & World Report. This legal document is also known as an advance directive. If you are planning for surgery, the hospital might ask if you have an advance directive or provide you with a form to fill out the basics. However, you will not always have the chance to plan ahead for an emergency, and you would want your living will to have more information than the bare minimum.

For example, if you end up on life support, you could have strong feelings about the type of care you prefer, how long you would want to be kept on life support and so on. Would you want your medical team to take all measures possible to prolong your life, or would you prefer to be let go if the situation is serious enough? With a living will, you can include as many specific details as you wish, so your family members do not have to guess.

You would also want to appoint someone as your healthcare proxy to make decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself. This should be someone you trust to keep your wishes and best interests at heart. A living will can relieve your family members of a difficult burden and help them make decisions for your care without guilt or uncertainty.

You can never be too young to make sure you have a living will in place. This information should not be taken as legal advice.