Living Will Why a Living Will? Unlike a conventional will, which outlines your dying wishes for your property after you pass away, a living will is a legal document that explains your living wishes. There are a variety of reasons you might need your living wishes written down. There may come a time when you become incapacitated and can no longer speak for yourself. For example, persons with severe dementia, or someone in a coma, may be alive but unable to enter a legal contract. In the absence of a living will, your loved ones will have to make very difficult decisions about your fate and your best interests, all without your input. Having a living will can prevent you from placing that great burden on your loved ones. In essence, a living will gives you control over your own fate, allowing you to specify what kind of treatments you would want to receive, and gives you control over all your options for end-of-life care. Precautions to Take There are several important precautions to take before embarking on the creation of a living will. Like with many medical situations, the most dangerous aspect of a living will is that, occasionally, patients may lack informed consent regarding what they’re agreeing to as laid out in the living will. It’s important to understand that medical terms like “terminal condition” or “severely incapacitated” may be interpreted different ways by different physicians, so they must be clearly defined in your own living will. Furthermore, to make a living will that is compliant with your own wishes, it’s crucial that you understand the dangers of several living will options.

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