The Importance of a Living Will

Estate Planning Lawyer Raleigh NC: The Importance of a Living Will

In our previous posts our estate planning lawyer in Raleigh NC has discussed various estate planning documents and the importance of each one.   Today, we will focus on a Living Will and outline four important reasons why you should have one in place.   A Living Will stipulates your wishes in case of a life-threatening emergency.   This is more of an end of life decision document as opposed to a health care power of attorney which covers a broader range of health care decisions.   It is important to have a Living Will to ensure that your wishes are carried out if you are incapacitated. It helps to remove the burden of making end of life decisions from your family and loved ones, to lessen the chances of creating family discord and to reduce time and vast expenses spent in the court system.

First and foremost, you may have a Living Will for your own benefit.   Creating a Living Will allows you to stipulate your wishes should you ever be in a life threatening situation.  How much medical intervention would you like to receive?   Some people have very strong feelings regarding the use of life-sustaining devices such as ventilators and respirators.   If you have any such convictions drafting a Living Will allows you to spell them out, ensuring that your wishes will be carried out in case of an emergency.   Without a Living Will you could be at the mercy of others to make life ending decisions on your behalf.

Without a Living Will the burden of making end of life decisions often falls to your family.   Losing a loved one is difficult enough, having to live with the guilt of being the one to make the decision to remove life support only makes the situation more tragic.   By creating a Living Will you are making your own decisions even when you are incapacitated.   Removing this burden from your loved ones is one of the kindest, most selfless things someone may do.    Knowing that they are simply following your wishes will allow them to enforce your decisions without guilt, or additional emotional trauma.

When faced with making end of life decisions for a loved one many families end up fighting.   There is often discord regarding what should happen and the timeframe in which it should occur.      When you have a Living Will in place, your loved ones and Doctors can simply following your wishes.   The decision is out of their hands so there is no need to debate the pros and cons of each decision.   Eliminating this stressor from the equation can really ease the discord among family members allowing them to pull together during this trying time.

Estate Planning Lawyer Raleigh NC | Klish and Eldreth PLLC

The last reason for creating a Living Will that we are going to talk about today is reducing potential time and money spent in the court system.    If you do not have a Living Will in place your life ending decisions could end up being decided in a court of law.    Particularly, if there is disagreement among family members, as well as the health care providers, a lengthy court battle over decisions can ensue.    Of course, legal action takes time and costs money.   You can save your loved ones from this monetary and emotional expense by drafting a Living Will.    When there is a legally binding document stipulating your wishes in place the need for court intervention is removed or drastically lessened.

A Living Will is really your chance to give your family and other loved ones protection from the heaviest of burdens.   By having already stipulated your end of life decisions you mandate how your wishes are carried out, removing the burden of making these decisions from your loved ones, lessening the potential for family discord and also reducing the amount of time and money that might be spent in a courtroom.     When the time to make these difficult decisions arrives it can be a real comfort to them to know that what is being done is exactly what you want.

If you’re ready to start planning a Will, be sure to contact Klish and Eldreth, PLLC. We are estate planning lawyers in Raleigh that want to help you get your Living Will documented with no problems.

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