A living will, called an advanced directive in Virginia, helps to protect your plans and respects your health care wishes if you become unable to speak about them in the future. An advanced directive or living will is a formal and legal document that outlines your individual preferences regarding end of life care, and other medical treatment concerns. End of life situations can happen at any age due to illness or an unexpected accident, so it’s important to document your wishes now.
Your advanced directive determines the medical treatments that you would not or would accept in order to keep you alive, and they also reference other important health care decisions such as pain management.
To broach this topic for yourself, think about how important you value independence and self-sufficiency, or which treatments or situations make you feel as though your life is no longer worth living. Perhaps you only want to receive treatment if a cure exists, or maybe you want to be kept alive at all costs.
There are multiple end of life scenarios that you may address in a living will, including:
- Tube feeding
- Mechanical ventilation
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
- Receipt of antivirals or antibiotics
- Tissue and organ donation
- Donating your body to science
Having clarity over these issues will allow you to document that and include it in your estate plan, making it that much easier to ensure that your wishes are respected and that your loved ones are not put into a difficult situation in the future. Contact a Virginia Beach estate planning firm now for assistance with documenting your wishes.