Many people harbor fears of reaching an age or state in which they are unable to take care of themselves and make important decisions. A living will can be utilized so that your affairs are predetermined and you can make decisions that are right for you and your family; however, a living will isn’t used for the same purpose as a last will and testament during estate planning. Instead of leaving matters in the hands of grieving family members, creating a living will allows you to make medical decisions for yourself if you are unable to voice your wishes in real-time. The following are important factors to consider when deciding if a living will is right for you.

Qualifying Circumstances

Situations may arise in which you are incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or simply unable to communicate. In these cases, a living will can act as a resource. You can state in clearly defined terms whether or not you want potentially lifesaving treatments and procedures, and whether or not you want to utilize life support services. You can also choose a loved one to make those decisions for you if specifying in advance is an uncomfortable choice.

Legalities of a Living Will

Beyond being able to specify a decision maker in the event you can no longer choose for yourself, a living will can also help a person bypass certain legal difficulties that could arise. In many states, families do not have total power to make the calls necessary at the end of a person’s life. Court orders may be needed, which can make tough situations even more drawn out and difficult for those already bearing a great burden. Complicating things further, sometimes a physician may end up making the decision if a family cannot come together to choose. Obviously, neither outcome is ideal.

Consider the Expenses

Extended medical care can result in mounting medical bills, which would become the responsibility of family once your own funds are exhausted. If a living will is drawn up in advance, you could specify when to terminate medical care and ensure that your family can focus on ensuring a peaceful passing instead of facing other difficult decisions. At The Law Office of Arthur P. Skarmeas, LLC, we recognize the importance of end-of-life decisions. Our team is licensed to practice in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and can help you and your family create a living will or assist with other legal matters at your convenience. Give us a call today at (978) 887-0093 or fill out our form for a free consultation.

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