Myths And Truths About Living Wills

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A key component of estate planning is determining what happens if you are unable to make healthcare decisions for yourself. A living will takes into account various scenarios and gives an agent the right to make decisions, such as preventing the use of lifesaving measures in certain situations. Before completing your living will, it is important you know the truth.

Doctors Will Not Treat You If You Have a Living Will

One of the prevailing myths about living wills is that the existence of one automatically means that you cannot receive any treatment from a medical care provider. Some people mistakenly believe the document is a declaration not to provide treatment if the person is unable to declare his or her own wishes orally.

 A living will does not prevent you from receiving treatment. It does explain to your agent and medical care provider what you wish to happen in certain scenarios. For instance, if you do not have any brain activity, your will could instruct your agent to end lifesaving measures. You could instruct your agent to carry on with the measures for a period, such as another week after the declaration of your condition.

Living Wills Are for Elderly People

Some young people do not consider creating a living will during estate planning because they believe that only elderly people need them. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that a young person will not have a situation in which he or she will not need a living will.

If you fail to create a living will, your family will be put in the position of making health care decisions for you. The decisions that are made could be contrary to what you would want in that situation. For instance, if you would want to have all lifesaving measures stopped if you were in a vegetative step, without the living will, your family could decide to continue treatment.

A Living Will Only Accounts for Near-Death Experiences

A living will is more than just a document that is used to determine the level of care for near-death scenarios. It covers a range of medical scenarios. The will is used when you are incapacitated and unable to make your own health decisions.

For instance, if you are mentally incapable due to a severe psychotic break, the agent named in your will could temporarily take over making treatment decisions until you are able to do so again.

Visit sites like and talk with a lawyer to learn more about living wills.