As you get older, you may start to look into estate planning and all the documents that you’d like to include in your estate plan. Among those documents will be a will called your living will.
A living will is not intended to be used after you pass away, which is unlike a last will and testament. Instead, you living will is intended to protect you during your lifetime.
A living will allows you to dictate what you would like to see happen if you cannot communicate because of a serious injury or illness. For example, if you are involved in a car crash and cannot speak, your living will can be used to assert your wishes.
Let others know what you want when you’re incapable
With a living will, you’ll let others know what your wishes are even though you’re unable to tell them yourself in that moment. In this will, you can discuss your choices for end-of-life medical treatment and treatments you do or do not want.
Your living will should not be included in your estate plan without a medical power of attorney attached. The medical power of attorney gives another person the power to make medical decisions on your behalf. They may still be bound or guided by your living will, which makes it powerful to have both of these documents in your estate plan together.
Your medical power of attorney matters
When you choose a medical power of attorney, remember that you should select someone who wants to take on the role and who will be comfortable making medical decisions on your behalf. It is a good choice to sit down with one or two people you think would be good for this role and to talk to them about your wishes in advance. You can set up your main power of attorney and may wish to include a second or third to make sure someone will be there for you when you need them to be.
This is just one aspect of estate planning. It’s a good idea to review your options and to set up your living will as soon as possible.