Living in the time of a pandemic makes you consider whether anyone is really safe. While the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus, you never know how your body will handle it. As a probate and estate attorney, the first thing I think about is how so many families right now have had to make difficult healthcare decisions for loved ones who are incapacitated because of this terrible disease.
I also think about how everyone can make things easier for their families by including a simple document called a living will in their estate plans.
If you are not sure whether the time is right to create a living will, here are three reasons that you definitely need one ASAP.
Having a Living Will Protects Your Wishes in an Emergency
The primary reason for having a living will is to guide your family and your doctors in case you lose the ability to communicate. A probate and estate attorney can help you draft the document so that it covers as many different scenarios as you want. While we don’t usually want to think about it, anything can happen at any time to anyone. It’s best to make your wishes known and to make them legally enforceable.
Having a Living Will Can Reduce Hospital Costs for Your Family
One scenario in which a living will is essential is if, for some reason, you go into a coma or vegetative state. It may not seem right to weigh the cost of keeping someone alive in such a situation, but this is a reality for many families who have loved ones who are in this situation. The hospital and healthcare costs associated with life support and round-the-clock care can grow to unmanageable proportions. With a living will, you can stipulate exactly what you want to happen if you are incapacitated, thus taking the burden of this difficult decision from your loved ones.
Having a Living Will Can Prevent Arguments between Family Members
Disagreement between family members is common when a loved one is incapacitated. I’ve seen it plenty of times as a probate and estate attorney. It’s understandable—they are making what could be a life-and-death decision about someone they love. If you were in that situation, you would probably fight for what you think is right, and that’s not always going to line up with what others in your family think is best.
If you want to save your family the stress of having to an impossible decision about your care when they should be focusing on coming together to weather the storm, you need a living will as part of your estate plan.
Get Help from a Probate and Estate Attorney Today
If you need help with your estate plan, I’m here to help. Contact me today so that we can discuss your needs.