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3 Reasons You Should Consider a Living Will 

 Posted on March 22, 2023 in Estate Planning and Probate

Comal County Estate Planning LawyerWhen discussing estate plans, people often emphasize the financial aspects of the estate planning process, such as asset distribution and tax issues. However, estate planning involves much more than property-related decisions.

A living will is an estate planning document used to make decisions about medical treatment. Have you ever thought about whether you would want to receive supplemental feeding or artificial ventilation if you became terminally ill? What are your thoughts about organ donation?  A living will answer these questions and more. When creating a living will, you can decide what medical treatments you would want to receive if you become incapacitated. Drafting a living will is not only important for you, but also for your loved ones.

A Living Will Lets You Determine What Medical Treatment You Will Recieve

A living will is used to make decisions about medical treatment and end-of-life care in advance. Medical providers will use the information in a living will to determine how to proceed if you fall into a coma or experience another incapacitating medical issue.

You can use a living will to make decisions about:

  • Medication

  • Dialysis

  • Artificial ventilation

  • Supplemental feeding

  • Organ donation

  • Pain management and palliative care

  • Life support treatments

  • Resuscitation attempts (CPR)

  • Organ and tissue donation

  • Posthumous matters such as an autopsy

A Living Will Allows You to Refuse Certain Medical Treatments

When creating a living will, you also have the right to refuse certain medical treatments. Many people have strong feelings about the types of medical interventions they wish to undergo if they are incapacitated. With a living will, you can make your wishes known in advance. For example, you may wish to specify that you do not consent to organ donation or do not want to be put on a ventilator if you are having trouble breathing on your own.

Your Loved Ones Will Have Guidance and Peace of Mind 

Perhaps the greatest benefit of a living will is that it gives you and your loved ones peace of mind. If you experience an incapacitating medical event and do not have a living will, your family members may have to make the difficult decision of whether or not to pursue medical treatments. This can be extremely emotionally taxing. In some cases, medical decision-making can lead to family arguments or even legal battles.

Consider the case of Terri Schiavo. Terri Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state for many years, and her family members disagreed about whether she should be kept alive via a feeding tube. The disagreement became extremely heated and eventually involved approximately 14 hearings and legal motions. If Terri had created a will outlining her preferences, the family would not have been put in this predicament.

Contact a Bexas County Living Will Attorney

At Geoff Mayfield, Attorney at Law, we know the value of a well-written estate plan. Our San Antonio estate planning lawyer can help you draft a living will, trust, power of attorney, will, or other estate planning document so you and your family can enjoy peace of mind. 



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