What is a Living Will?
A living will is not a will but a legal document. It is very limited in scope. It has a dumb title. It is not a will at all! It addresses when a person is completely vegetative, when the brain stops working, and the person can no longer process information. It applies when there is no meaningful "life". The person is kept alive because a heroic doctor feels he knows what the person would have wanted.
The living will is your statement or directive. It is simply an expression of whether YOU would want to remain alive under those circumstances. When functioning, thought, emotions, and brain function are at such a low level, you may want to be left to pass on. The cases on television occur when doctors and family disagree about what your wishes are as to remaining alive. Staggering medical medical bills are often left to the family if you continue to be left alive. A doctor or hospital may keep you alive against your wishes for fear of being sued or because they don't know your wishes.
Living wills may be tailored to the needs of each individual, but often address the following medical interventions, after-death preferences, and related matters:
Artificial nutrition and hydration
Electric shock therapy
Bodily tissue and organ donation
What happens if there is no Living Will?
It's too late! If you can no longer make decisions for yourself, and there is no living will, your preferences cannot be known in a legal document and decisions will have to be made for you.
When is the right time to prepare a Living Will document?
The right time to prepare a Living Will document is when you are still of sound mind and body. Once you are no longer capable expressing your wishes, you are also not capable of preparing a Living Will document with an attorney. Accidents and unexpected illness happen to the young, the aged, and those who don't expect it. The time to act is now.
To protect your interests, and life and death issues, and the interests of your loved ones, you need at least four documents:
* Living Will
LET'S MOVE FORWARD!
Gather up all the documents you can find including bank statements, 401K papers, home and automobile titles, and any other documents you can locate. Then contact Keith Weidman to schedule an appointment.
Let my 35 years of experience put your mind at ease.
Keith Weidman, Esq.