Having a “living will” and preparing your will for after you have passed are two very different types of legally binding documents that offer protection to you and your family. Traditionally, you would draw up a will when deciding how your cherished personal effects, including money, will be divided amongst your family. However, a living will dictates how you will be treated in the event you become terminally ill and are unable to communicate or will require constant medical care in order to sustain your life.
What can I Include in My Living Will?
Your living will include (in your own words) what care you would like to receive during a terminal illness. For example, directions for CPR, insertion of a feeding tube, breathing aided by respirator, and blood transfusions can be included in your living will. In other cases, your living will may state that you do not want to be placed on a respirator but that you want a feeding tube for nutrition. You may even specify that someone else should make the decision for you. On the other hand, you can use your living will if you want all life-prolonging medical treatments used to extend your life.
What if I Suddenly Change My Mind?
In any event, your living will can be cancelled orally by you, or in writing. However, the cancellation takes effect only when you tell your physician, and there must be two adult witnesses present when you declare the cancellation of your will. If you cancel your living will in writing, the will must be in writing and signed by you or someone who has permission to sign your name in your presence.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Living Will?
Sustaining life-threatening ailments by you or your loved ones such as aggressive cancers, brain tumors and disorders, immune system diseases, and degeneration are all instances in which an individual will want to consider a living will, and thus will need a lawyer. Terminal illnesses such as the ones previously listed have proven to be unpredictable in many cases, and not being prepared for a potential turn of events can detrimental to your family’s well-being.
Protect yourself and your family during a terminal illness by hiring lawyers who are experienced in living wills. At the Law Offices of Newland & Newland, LLP, our experience with living wills enables us to help you when you need it most.
Call us today at (847) 797-8000, or a fill out online contact form for a complimentary evaluation of your situation. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Luis Melendez)