Frankly, everyone who is able to make a living will should have one. No one can predict the future – even young and healthy individuals can find themselves in a situation where they are at least temporarily incapacitated and unable to make medical decisions for themselves. There are some individuals for whom having a living will is particularly important. If you are interested in creating a living will, you will want to work with a qualified attorney to make sure all your wishes are expressed accurately in the document.
When Should I Make a Living Will?
The short answer is, as soon as you have the opportunity. In the event that some unforeseen medical emergency happens and you are not able to communicate or make your own medical decisions, a living will tells healthcare providers in advance what your wishes are. Living wills can instruct doctors to withhold futile life-preserving care in the event of terminal illness, but can also include provisions about keeping you comfortable or your religious preferences. You can also use a healthcare power of attorney to designate the person you would like to make decisions for you if you become unable.
While it is best for everyone to have a living will in place, just in case, for some people it is particularly important. It is urgent that you complete a living will if you are facing any of these situations:
- Major Surgery – No surgery is without risks, and knowing that you have a living will may give you and your loved ones some peace of mind.
- Nursing Home – Anyone entering a nursing home should have a living will on file with the facility. Most people who make the decision to move into a care home are elderly or facing serious illness, and would benefit from having a living will.
- Serious Illness – Anyone diagnosed with a serious illness may want to have a living will – and make sure every doctor on their care team is aware of the document.
- Dangerous Career – People who work dangerous jobs, such as electricians and stunt performers, may want to have a living will already in place in the event of a serious work-related injury.
What Is the Advantage of Making a Living Will Now?
People who are already facing serious medical concerns, such as a cancer diagnosis, are likely to feel overwhelmed and emotional. It may be better to execute a living will before such a situation arises when you have time to think through what your wishes would be in a calm and rational manner. Loved ones may become distressed and pressure you to include provisions in your living will that you might not want, such as allowing life-preserving treatment for a terminal illness. It is always better to create your living will before you think you need it.
Call an Illinois Living Wills Lawyer
If you are ready to take the next step and create a living will, you should work with a qualified attorney. Lucas Law is experienced in helping clients create living wills and other estate planning documents. Call a Barrington living wills attorney at 847-381-8700 to schedule a confidential and affordable consultation.