A living will is a document that provides guidance on how to manage someone’s health care. This is necessary when an incident, such as a stroke or brain damage, results in a person’s severe physical and mental incapacitation. The reasons to create a living will in California are numerous and important.
Provide guidance to your doctors and health care providers
At any time before, during or after you make a will, your health can deteriorate into an unmanageable state. A living will is not only a financial plan but also a medical plan that provides guidance to your doctors, nurses, home health aides or any other health care provider that is looking after you.
A living will often includes advance directives to help make medical decisions when you are incapacitated. It includes a health care power of attorney that designates a trusted person to make medical decisions on your behalf.
Prevent lawsuits among family members and friends
The most serious medical matters, such as deciding not to resuscitate or turning off someone’s life support, are laid out clearly in living wills. Without such a document, a nurse or an estranged spouse could end up making decisions that cause life or death. The spouse and his or her in-laws might fight for years in court if there’s no living, and a judge has to make decisions in the best interest of the incapacitated person. Creating a living will prevents family members, associates and friends from having to step foot in court.
When you need assistance with a living will
A living will is one that you execute while you’re still alive but can’t act on your own due to suffering from a life-threatening health condition. You never know when you will need such directives, so it’s best to prepare them in advance with the help of a professional. An estate planning attorney may help you create a document that is clear and legally sound.