A living will is a legal document that would tell your family or the medical professionals what you wish them to do in case you are no longer able to tell them because of your health condition. A small percentage of adults have a living will, whereas it’s recommended for those who are 18 years old and up to have this prepared. This is because illness and accident could strike anytime and if you don’t have a living will, you may not have the care or procedures that you prefer. When the living will is made, it needs to be revisited every now and then to make necessary updates. This is because your views, needs, condition and finances may change and all of these could have an effect on your decision. Here are some of the reasons why you should update your living will.
Your view on your health care may differ from the time that you wrote your living will to the time when you get older. Most of the time, younger individuals would think about letting their life end instead of being cared for in a hospice or using life support to extend their lives. However, when you get older, your view may be different. You may want to extend your life as much as possible to spend more time with your family.
Writing a living well when you’re in perfect condition is ideal as you could think clearly of what you would want if the time comes that you get sick and could no longer decide for yourself. When you’re diagnosed with a medical condition, your thoughts when you were perfectly healthy to the time that you learned about your diagnosis may no longer be the same. Furthermore, the health care or procedures that you have written may not be appropriate for your medical condition. That being said, your living will needs to be updated so the right care would be given to you.
There may be new procedures or treatments developed, which may not yet be available during the time that you first wrote your living will. If you feel that they would be helpful for you when the time comes, they need to be included in your living will to make sure that you get them.
At the time that you wrote your living will, your finances may be different from what you may have after several years. For instance, if your company expanded and you have more money and savings, you would be able to afford more than what you have expected when you were younger. This means that you may include the procedures or care that you would like which were not in your living will before.
States have their varying laws. If you relocate from one state to another, you need to review your living will to make sure that it doesn’t go against any of the laws in the state that you’re in.
There would come a time when you may no longer be able to decide for your health and medical care. This is why as early as now, you need to have a clear instruction on what you would like to receive when the time comes and this is by preparing for your living will.
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2nd image by Official Navy Page from United States of America MCSN Joseph A. Boomhower/U.S. Navy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons