3 Reasons You Need a Living Will According to a Probate and Estate Attorney

Last updated on: February 23, 2023

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 Houston estate planning 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. Whether you’re a millennial who is just starting a family or someone who has accumulated significant assets over your lifetime, it is important to start your estate planning today. A skilled lawyer may be able to help you plan for the future of your loved ones more efficiently. 

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.

Living Wills: Explained

3 Reasons you need a living will according to an estate planning attorney in Houston

Living wills are legal documents that allow an individual to express their wishes regarding end-of-life medical care. A Living Will, unlike a regular will, is in effect while the individual is alive and is null after the individual passes away. 

The Living Will can be used to cover a variety of medical treatment options and specify which one the individual would prefer and which ones they would not want to have. Although most Living Wills include palliative care for pain relief and other treatment options, each person must consider whether they prefer to receive any other types of treatment. 

A living will also need to address the issue of “extraordinary care”, which is any medical treatment that an individual considers more than their preferred level. Living Wills are often used to specify preferences regarding life support and resuscitation as well as other life-sustaining procedures. 

Speaking to an experienced Houston estate planning lawyer may be able to help you plan for the future of your loved ones more efficiently. A skilled attorney may be able to explain how a Living Will can work for you. To schedule a consultation, contact the Law Office of Whitney L. Thompson today. 

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.

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