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What should I include in a living will?

On Behalf of | Oct 2, 2020 | Estate Planning |

If you should get into an accident and sustain severe injuries, you may become unable to communicate your health care wishes to your doctor. If so, you should have a living will ready to assist you. Through a living will, you can convey how you want your doctors to treat you in case of your incapacitation. 

Living wills involve asking yourself some difficult questions about what should happen if an accident or an illness causes you to end up on life support. For instance, you may want your doctors to do all they can to save your life, or you might not want certain treatments if you have no hope of recovery. U.S. News and World Report explains some other things to include in a living will. 

Types of care

Your living will allows you the chance to dictate what kinds of care you want to sustain your life. You may state that you want paramedics to use shock equipment or CPR if you should go into cardiac arrest. If you have an infection, you may describe if you want doctors to use antivirals or antibiotics to treat you. You can also take the opportunity to spell out the treatments that you do not want, as well as any life saving measures that you do not want doctors to implement to keep you alive. 

End of life care

You might also consider what will happen if you have a health condition that severely limits how long you have to live. For instance, doctors will implement hospice care for people close to death to ease pain and provide comfort. You may leave instructions pertaining to hospice care or also palliative care, which is care doctors give to patients who are not on the verge of death but have limited life left. 

Organ donations

A living will also offers you the opportunity to dictate what you want to happen with your organs and tissues after you die. You may want to make a donation of your organs like your heart, lungs or liver. With your living will, you may leave instructions regarding which tissues or organs you want to donate if they are healthy enough following your death. 

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