Why Should I Have a Living Will?

There is a misconception that still floats around today that a living will is only needed when a person reaches the age of senior citizen. This cannot be further from the truth. It’s best for any person to have a living will once they reach the legal age of 18. It doesn’t matter if you have a child, if you have a spouse, or if you are sick or healthy. A living will protects quite a bit of your life. Don’t believe the hype? Here are some important reasons why you should have a living will.

Protected When Incapacitated

Many people believe they will never become incapacitated. All it takes is one car accident, one accident at work, or a serious illness or disease and this can become reality. A living will protects your rights should you no longer be able to make decisions for yourself. The document will explain to doctors and other medical professionals how you want your medical care to be handled should you become incapacitated. All of your wishes are outlined in writing and cannot be ignored by family members or by doctors.

Helps Prevent Family Fights

There are times when people become incapacitated and family members begin to fight over the person’s wishes and rights. A will can help avoid all of this unnecessary fighting. These familial fights can cause lasting issues among members of your family long after you’re gone. A simple living will can prevent all of it from boiling over into a major argument. Family members will have no say in what happens to you when a living will is in place.

Designate a Person to Make Decisions

Some people use a living will to designate a person who will be responsible for making decisions regarding care and other life aspects. This should be a person whom you trust implicitly and will handle the decision-making process based on what the two of you have discussed. This person is oftentimes referred to as an agent of care.

Avoid Depletion of an Estate

If you are concerned that continued medical care could deplete the estate you plan to leave behind for your children and grandchildren, a living will can rectify this situation for you. Should you become incapacitated you can have it written in your will that medical care is stopped after a set timeframe. Or, you could have it written in the living will that no further medical care is to be administered. Extensive care can cost thousands of dollars. If you are more concerned about what you leave behind, a living will can ensure that your estate does not become depleted.

Supplement to a Will

A living will is a supplement to a regular will, which goes into effect at the time of the named person’s death. Think of a living will as insurance for the regular will. It prevents the person from receiving medical care against their wishes just to bleed an estate dry or prevent other family members from making decisions.

Do you need to create a living will in New Jersey? Contact Trish Davis, Esquire in Cinnaminson with all of your questions and to get the process started. You can reach Ms. Davis at 856-829-9204.