Pros and Cons of a Living Will
Retirement Planning March 27, 2018

Pros and Cons of a Living Will

A living will is a legal document that is designed to communicate a person’s desires pertaining to medical treatment if in the future they are no longer capable of choosing for themselves. For example, if a person slips into a state of coma due to an accident or a terminal illness then, a living will offers them a chance to convey their wishes to family members or doctors. Drafting such a document has its own set of pros and cons. To know more, read further.

Pros of a living will

  • Relieving family members
    The primary advantage of a living will is that during challenging situations, you will ease some stress that family members have to undergo. Deciding on behalf of someone’s life can be extremely taxing, as your family might keep wondering if they are making the right choice. Moreover, members of the family might have conflicting views about the end-of-life-care, which can be put to rest with the help of a living will.
  • Sticking to your personal beliefs
    A living will allows you to stand by your personal beliefs. For instance, if a person is of the opinion that keeping someone alive with the assistance of life support is not right, then they can clearly state so in their living will. Unfortunately, if such a situation arises, then the family members and doctors will be not be caught in a dilemma and honor the person’s wishes.
  • Flexibility
    Living wills are incredibly flexible and you can make modifications to it anytime you want. Likewise, if you wish, you can simply revoke a will and make a new one. For legitimizing this decision, you just have to notify your doctor and two witnesses.

Cons of a living will

  • Confusion with the document’s wording
    One of the most prominent drawbacks of a living will is that some documents aren’t detailed enough, therefore, there’s always a risk of misinterpretation. This can again create a lot of confusion for the family as it could direct them towards different possibilities.
  • Illegitimate document
    At times a person who is already battling a medical condition may not completely understand what they are signing up for. In such a scenario, their mental and emotional state could affect their ability to make a practical decision. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the person is fully aware of the terms and conditions of a living will and its consequences.
  • Court intervention
    In many cases, the family and doctors might have an opposing perception of the stated desire of the person. To resolve such a conflict, families might have to seek the assistance of the law. Therefore, while preparing a living will, it is essential that you hire a reliable attorney who ensures clarity concerning the client’s interests.

If you are interested in making a living will, make sure that you check the eligibility for it, as every state has different laws. You don’t require a lawyer for drafting a living will, however, getting one would be a good decision as they can help safeguard all your interests. Moreover, you can even get a better view on your choice after discussing all your concerns with a lawyer.