Planning for the unthinkable takes responsibility and courage. It is important to make certain arrangements to help both yourself and your family.
If you become seriously ill or injured, there is a chance you wouldn’t be able to communicate your thoughts and wishes.
At difficult times like this, you want someone who can represent your preferences, be them medical or personal.
This is why it is so important to arrange your preferences on serious issues such as treatment options and have these legally documented.
This can be done through legal documentation, otherwise known as a living will and it should be formulated while you are still able.
In the event of an emergency, this will help direct your family and medical professionals on what you would want them to do, or not do, for you.
We are going to discuss the costs and process of a living will. This article will help you better understand such documents so you can formalize your preferences if you ever end up in a serious scenario.
Planning your living will
Life is full of surprises. Some can be life-changing, for better or for worse. No one likes to think about the future and imagine anything seriously awful happening which could leave you unable to think or speak for yourself.
Unfortunately, these terrible situations do occur every day around the world. If this does happen, you should make your thoughts and requests public knowledge.
This can include whether you want to be kept alive on life support or not. Your friends and family can help follow through with your wishes due to your forward planning.
This is when you should consider a living will. This document, also known as an advance directive, gives you the power to record your personal decisions beforehand so others can follow your wishes later on.
Some people can’t imagine living in a vegetative state with no hope of ever recovering. Therefore, they state that they do not want to be kept alive on life support.
Others choose to be kept alive using artificial support in such a situation. Whichever a person chooses, these wishes are recorded in writing in the form of a living will.
Although this is a thought many of us don’t want to consider, it is something that should be taken seriously. You may share the same view as above or you may need to think seriously before making such a monumental decision.
We understand how difficult it is to imagine yourself in such a position but with planning and some anticipation, you will benefit if a serious scenario occurs.
Documenting your wishes is not only important for you. It will make it easier for your family and friends as they can use your living will to guide them through what you desired.
Your pre-planned information will help guide them on how to handle your health issues. However, your wishes may not be the wishes of your family and friends.
They may not agree with your decision which can put pressure and strain on them for some time. But, your living will is in place so you can do what is right for you. It allows you to do what feels right for your personal, as well as religious beliefs.
The cost of a living will
The process for writing living will and what you require varies from one state to another. Some areas make it mandatory that the advance directive is witnessed by a notary but others do not require this.
Writing a living includes many factors to consider. This is why experts advise that a licensed attorney writes your will.
A professional attorney can guide you and offer some assistance in arranging the correct language and information required in such a document. They will ensure that the information included is relevant in the state in which you live.
You can ask your attorney who handles estate planning issues for you and your family to make a draft of the living will for you.
Of course, not all of us have planned this far into the future yet. If so, you should consider hiring an attorney to begin this document.
When hiring an attorney, you can use the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys to find someone who specializes in elder issues locally.
Hiring an attorney to draft your living will tend to range from $250 to $500 but this can depend on which state you reside in.
It is always best to be prepared for anything. No matter what age you are, the future is unpredictable.
We understand that you may not be ready to think about anything terrible happening in your future but no one knows when or if they will be inflicted with a terminal illness or become involved in a serious accident.
There are other options to construct your living will other than paying for an attorney. Many online websites are available that offer living will documents for you to download.
You can find documents for your specific state. One example is USLivingWills but this excludes the state of Louisiana. The cost of these wills depends on the complexity of the state’s laws.
Many states recognize living wills but a few do not have a statute that regulates and authorizes living wills. These include Massachusetts, Michigan, and New York.
If your state does not authorize these documents, it can still be beneficial to record your wishes anyway. Doing this can still influence how your medical case is handled in the future.
Some free samples of living will documents are available at FindLaw.com for you to get a better idea of how they look. You can also ask your healthcare provider or local hospital for some forms, free of charge.
Other options are to use online forms that are specific to your state that you print off and fill in yourself. These generally cost around $20 to $40.
Or spend between $45 to $75 and order a pre-prepared form. These will include your specific wishes and will be delivered to you in the form of a hard copy.
DIY living wills can range from no charge when writing your own on a sample form to $75 when ordering a personalized document with your details.