A Living Will is legal document that ensures that end-of-life decisions are made according to your wishes when, for example, you are on a ventilator with no little or no quality of life and no reasonable chance of survival.
As parents we eat stress for breakfast. Our schedules are jam packed, overloaded and leave little room for long term planning. When we do have a break from the madness we spend our time with those we love and care about most.
As we move through life, we take on more responsibilities, as do our children. For them, one day their responsibility will be you. For most of us, this is a difficult pill to swallow. That there will come a time expected or unexpected when your daughter, son or partner will need to take care of you.
Enjoying life to the fullest means setting aside tomorrow’s worries you and your family may have as best you can, so that you can be present in their world today. A Living Will can help you do just that.
By outlining your goals for your estate and legacy, you can lift that burden from your family members. Imagine what it would be like to be distraught, or scattered by an unexpected accident or illness. Think for a moment about having to act on the behalf of a loved one in a time when emotions are raw, during a time of illness or hardship … and you were not given any directions. You are at a loss for words, cannot think straight and haven’t a clue what that person really, really wanted. Financial questions circling around you, a task list to coordinate and execute mounts. This is not a time when you want to feel that you’ve been left in the dark.
That is just the place where so many families find themselves. Left to guess and decide the proper course of action for a loved one who in the midst of a busy life … and who forgot to leave a plan, or even notes.
Being a good parent means planning for your family’s future, including yours. Don’t leave things to chance or speculation. Put a Living Will in place, and soon you will feel a cloud of stress clear, a stressor that you did not recognize was hanging over you.
A Living Will can make you a better parent by tackling these three difficult decision areas:
#1. Express your preference regarding life-sustaining treatment for end-of-life medical decisions.
No one can predict the future, or the circumstances surrounding an event or incident. Thinking through potential situations, and what would be best for your family now with a clear-headed state of mind, is much easier than making decisions while approaching medical treatment options in the midst of a catastrophic injury or illness.
#2. Give your family peace of mind that your desires will be followed.
In times when emotions run high, unanswered questions about your personal wishes can easily cause for distraught family members to disagree about options for your care in end-of-life circumstances. You can express your desire, in advance, and take the burden off your family by executing Living Will.
#3. Prevent your assets from being depleted by life-sustaining medical treatment during end end-of-life medical care.
Providing financial stability for your family after you’re gone is something you have planned for your whole life. You can document and express the parameters and circumstances in which you would in good conscious choose to discontinue aggressive medical care.
I know this can be overwhelming to think about and especially daunting if today you are happily surrounded by your family and in good health. We all hope that every day is one that we can live life to the fullest. We all want our family to be protected, financially and emotionally. Creating a plan where you can ensure sensible and well documented guidance through one of life’s biggest challenges is a duty you owe to your loved ones and to yourself.
If you don’t know where to start, what to ask, or how to begin, I am here to help. My clients are like family, as are members of their families. To find out more about a Living Will as an estate planning tool, please contact me and we can talk. Connect with me via any of the vehicles below, and I’ll be happy to make time to listen to you and answer your questions.