Why Do I Need a Living Will?

Living Will

Creating a complete estate plan involves much more than designating heirs for your property after you pass away. An important aspect of planning involves dealing with the medical decisions required when an accident or other situation renders you incapable of expressing your own wishes. No one wants to think about issues like these, but a seasoned wills attorney in Indianapolis can explain the importance of two types of advance directives as part of your long-term plan.

Two types of advance directives provide the most complete protection

No one can predict when some form of traumatic event like a major accident or illness might create the need for important medical decisions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two recent surveys indicated that while 65 percent of nursing home residents and 88 percent of discharged hospice care patients executed advance directives, only 28 percent of home health care patients addressed these important issues.

A complete advanced directive typically contains two documents:

  • Living wills inform medical providers of the degree of care you want to receive if you become critically injured or ill and cannot communicate your own wishes. While some people prefer to have providers take any extraordinary measures needed to sustain life, others choose to avoid extending their lives when no hope of recovery exists. Of course, in these cases, providers still provide for basic sustenance, and they continue to administer any treatment or medication that makes patients more comfortable.
  • Medical powers of attorney designate one or more individuals you want to make medical decisions for you, including signing authorization for surgery or other life-saving treatment when a severe injury or illness prevents you from representing yourself. These individuals may also need to help doctors interpret the end-of-life decisions in your living will. The people you designate need to be individuals who know the decisions you would make, so most people choose a spouse or other close family member willing and able to make tough choices on your behalf.

You do not need to have a massive estate to plan the best ways to protect your loved ones for the future. In addition, a vital part of your estate plan must address your health care needs.

An experienced Indianapolis lawyer helps you address all your long-term needs and goals

The estate planning attorneys at Ward & Ward Law Firm have extensive experience helping clients throughout Marion County develop a comprehensive long-term plan. We are available to speak with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call us at 317-639-9501 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.


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