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Living Will, Why You Need One?

Aug 12, 2008
Living wills, advance directives are actually a set of documents? These documents help direct your medical care if you become incapacitated. Living wills are the most common examples of instructive directives. State and Federal court decisions established the right of an incompetent or comatose patient to have his or her wishes respected, as long as those wishes are known.

Living wills and other advance directives aren't just for the elderly. Unexpected medical conditions and end-of-life situations can happen at any age. Even still many Americans do not have a living will or a medical power of attorney to ensure their wishes are adhered to. If you don't have a living will, get one. Then register with a Living Will Registry.

A Living Will Registry allows you to store your living will documents in a secure, online database. Only authorized health care providers may access and view your documents in the registry. Access is given 24-hours a day 365 days a week. The registry also stores your emergency contact information so that family and next of kin can be contacted. In most cases participants are contacted annually to update any advance directives.

The biggest advantage of making a living will is that it allows you to voice out your preferences on the subject of life support measures and other medical treatment options. Even though your family and friends may not hold the same philosophy about the matter, the creation of such a legal document gives you an opportunity to confer with them and explain your choices.

Remember since your living will documents are suppose to be legally binding make sure everything is put in witing. In addition since every state has its own set of policies, states will vary in their consistencies. So if you plan to move to different state be sure to look up that states living will policies.

You can write these documents in a number of ways. First is by using a form that supplied by your physician. Aside from that, you also have the option to ask for the appropriate form from the health care department of your state, or your health care provider. You can go the traditional route and hire an attorney to draw up the forms for you. Of course you don't need to pay attorney for these documents. In our resource box we provide a link where you can get do-it-yourself state specific documents that you can personalize yourself.

Once you have completed the proper forms, hand copies of the living will to your immediate family members, friends, and family doctor. If you have appointed your own health care surrogate, don't forget furnish him or her with a copy as well. On no account should living wills be stashed in a safe deposit box. Doing so will only make it harder for your loved ones to get hold of the document when the need arises.
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See How Easy It Is To Create Your Own Living Will Forms. Learn All You Need To Know About Living Wills and How To Use Them.
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