When to Write a Living Will
In short, most adults should have a living will. However most adults do not. There are a few incidents in life that will encourage you to write a statement about your personal medical decisions. Because the true intent of a living will is to relieve your family from those difficult life and death decisions, most of the incidents that call for creating a living will are family related.
If you get married, write a living will. Prior to the wedding, your parents were most likely your next-of-kin. The moment you get married, your spouse takes on those responsibilities. Without clear instructions dictating your personal medical choices, your parents and your spouse could face off in a court battle over keeping you alive. Even without a legal basis, court proceedings can take months or years, creating an on-going rift within your family.
If you have a child, write a living will. Living wills spell out your medical wishes. If you get sick or injured, someone will have to make some difficult choices about how long you will continue to be in your child’s life. Remove those doubts or feelings of guilt and spell out your own end-of-life choices.
Again, if someone close to you dies, write your own living will. Once you witness the stress and guilt that comes with an uninformed end-of-life decision, you will do anything in your power to protect your own family from those choices.
Most people do not know where to start or what to say. Contact a lawyer or estate planner and get a draft started immediately.