Advance directives for health care are recommended for everyone, and one of them is the living will. With this directive you record your preferences regarding the use of life-sustaining medical procedures.
Perhaps the best way to understand why a living will is important is to recount the story of Terri Schiavo that was widely publicized a number of years ago.
Terri was a young woman who had not yet reached her 30th birthday when she went into full cardiac arrest. She subsequently fell into a vegetative state. She remained in that state for years, being kept alive via the utilization of feeding tubes.
After around eight years her husband filed a petition to allow for the removal of the feeding tubes. Schiavo’s parents were against it, and a court battle ensued.
This could have been avoided if Terri had executed a living will that flatly stated how she would want doctors to proceed if this type of circumstance was to present itself.
This case explains what a living will is used for, but it also underscores the importance of a living will for people of all ages.
A survey was recently conducted, and 61% of the people who responded said that they did not have a living will. Statistics tell us that most adults don’t have a last will in place either.
You can be sure that you are prepared for all contingencies if you simply sit down and create an estate plan with the assistance of a licensed estate planning attorney. The time and effort involved is well worth it when you consider the consequences that can come about if you don’t have a plan in place.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.
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