People, especially younger people, do not like to think about death, particularly their own. While it can be difficult and uncomfortable to think about the end of your life and how you would like things handled, a living will is a document that every adult should consider creating.
A living will is one of three documents that make up advance directives. A living will is a legal document that allows you to specify the type of medical care that you do or do not want in the event you are unable to communicate your wishes. This document communicates your wishes to your medical team about providing, withholding, or withdrawal of life-prolonging procedures in the event that you have a terminal condition, have an end-stage condition, or are in a persistent vegetative state.
What happens if you do not have a living will and you find yourself in one of these situations?
If you become incapacitated and unable to make your own medical decisions, your medical team will leave those decisions up to your closest family member. This can result in something other than your desires being carried out because your family does not know what you want or does not agree with what you want. It can also lead to battles between members of the family on what is the best course of action. Even in situations where your family knows what your wishes are and there are no disputes, this can place a heavy burden on family members to have to make life and death decisions for someone they love.
A living will is simple and inexpensive to draw up and can be changed at anytime should you change your mind about how you would like things handled.