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Top Reasons to Include a Living Will in Your Illinois Estate Plans

Posted on in Estate Planning

IL estate planning lawyerEstate planning is important for anyone of any age or health. Unfortunately, life is nothing if not unpredictable and none of us know what day will be our last. Although it can be an uncomfortable topic to think about, planning for the possibility of incapacitation and death is crucial to protecting your loved ones and ensuring your final wishes are fulfilled. A living will is an advanced directive used to describe your decision regarding end-of-life care and other essential matters.

A Living Will Ensures Your Medical Wishes Will Be Followed

Most people are familiar with a last will and testament. A will is used to describe how property should be distributed to heirs after someone passes away. However, fewer understand the purpose of a living will. A living will is a document that spells out a person’s wishes regarding medical care at the end of their life. If a person is in a coma, suffers from dementia, or has other disabling medical conditions, he or she may not be able to communicate with doctors and loved ones. A living will is used to make medical decisions about end-of-life care in advance, so there is no question about the types of medical care an individual should receive.

A living will may be used to specify your wishes regarding:

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Intubation
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Tube feeding
  • Medications
  • Palliative care
  • Organ donation
  • Other medical decisions

A Living Will Can Protect Your Family From a Legal Battle

In 2005, a woman named Terri Schiavo made international headlines. The woman had been in a vegetative state for over 15 years and there was virtually no hope of her ever regaining consciousness. Her husband wanted to take her off her feeding tube and allow her to pass away naturally. Her parents wanted to keep her alive via the feeding tube and other medical interventions. The disagreement snowballed into a huge legal battle.

No one wants their family to be torn apart by a legal dispute. This is why it is so important to formalize your wishes through a living will or other advanced directives. When you make estate planning decisions in advance, you save your family from being forced to make these decisions for you.

Contact a Wheaton Estate Planning Lawyer

A living will is a valuable estate planning tool you can use to formalize your wishes regarding medical care and end-of-life wishes. The DuPage estate planning attorneys at Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC can help you address all of your estate planning needs. Call 630-665-2500 for a consultation.

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/living-wills/art-20046303

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/bioethicist-tk-n333536

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