Why You Need a Living Will
The Need of a Living Will
No one likes to think about the need for a living will, but it's an essential document to have, since an illness or unfortunate accident can strike us at any time. Living will forms are the only way to ensure your wishes for medical treatment are followed, and your family and loved ones are spared unnecessary hardship in a difficult situation.
What is a Living Will?
A living will form gives instructions to medical providers when you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious and can't speak for yourself. Living wills, also referred to as advance directives, are often combined with a medical power of attorney that appoints an agent, called a healthcare proxy, to follow the instructions in your advance health care directive when making medical treatment decisions for you. A template for living will is governed by state laws, which vary by state. That's why it's important to use a state-specific template for a living will, and not a generic advance health directive.
What is a Health Proxy?
Your health care proxy can make decisions regarding matters such as life support by artificial means of nutrition, hydration, and ventilation, medications, and more. A template for living will often allows you to express preferences for allowed visitors, organ donation, burial or cremation instructions, and any other wishes you have for your medical care. The health proxy you appoint in a medical power of attorney or living will must follow the preferences expressed in your advance directive when you are unable to communicate.
Living Will vs Will
People are often confused about the differences between a last will vs living will. However, a last will only takes effect after you die, and deals with how to distribute your estate. A living will or advance healthcare directive takes effect when you are still alive but unable to communicate, and deals with matters related to your medical treatment.
If you've been wondering "what is an advance directive", now is the time to prepare a living will and appoint a heath care proxy according to the laws of your state. US Legal Forms makes having an advance healthcare directive easier and more affordable than ever, and it only takes a matter of minutes to complete.