Make Your End Of Life Wishes Known
It’s no secret that writing a will is not something most people want to think about. It can be difficult to face your own mortality and consider what will happen to your belongings after you’re gone. However, drafting a will is an important step in ensuring that your wishes are carried out and your loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone.
If You or Your Loved One Is In Hospice Care, Be Proactive.
If you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and are receiving hospice care, you may want to consider creating a living will. This document can specify your end-of-life wishes in the event that you become unable to make decisions for yourself.
When creating a living will, it is important to be as specific as possible about your wishes. You should include detailed instructions about which medical treatments you do and do not want to receive. You may also want to designate a healthcare proxy, who will be responsible for making sure your wishes are carried out.
Once you have created your living will, it is important to keep it up to date. If your health condition changes or your treatment preferences change, be sure to update your living will accordingly. You should also keep a copy of your living will in a safe place where your family or friends can easily find it.
If you are receiving hospice care, your hospice team can help you create a living will if you desire. They can also answer any questions you may have about end-of-life decision-making.
Be Familiar With Advanced Directives
There are four main types of advanced directives: living wills, durable powers of attorney, do-not-resuscitate orders, and five wishes.
Living wills are legal documents that outline a person’s wishes for end-of-life medical care. They typically specify what types of treatment the person does or does not want to receive.
Durable powers of attorney appoint another person (known as an “agent”) to make medical decisions on the individual’s behalf if they become incapacitated.
Do-not-resuscitate orders instruct medical staff not to revive the individual if their heart stops or they stop breathing.
Five wishes are similar to living wills in that they express an individual’s preferences for end-of-life care. However, they are not legally binding in all states.
It’s important to note that advanced directives are not just for people with terminal illnesses. Anyone over the age of 18 can benefit from having one in place.
What Items Should Be Present In Your Living Will?
When it comes to estate planning, one of the most important documents you can have is a living will. This document spells out your wishes for end-of-life medical care in the event that you are unable to communicate them yourself.
While every living will is unique, there are certain items that should be included in all versions. Here are four things to make sure your living will covers:
Your medical treatment preferences
In your living will, you should clearly state your preferences for medical treatment, including life-sustaining measures such as artificial ventilation and feeding tubes. This ensures that your wishes will be followed even if you are unable to communicate them at the time.
Who you want to make decisions on your behalf
If you are unable to make medical decisions for yourself, you will need to appoint someone to do so on your behalf. This person is known as a healthcare proxy or durable power of attorney for healthcare. In your living will, you should clearly state who you want to make these decisions, as well as what types of decisions they are empowered to make.
Your funeral and burial preferences
Your living will is also a good place to spell out your preferences for funeral and burial arrangements. This can save your loved ones from having to make difficult decisions during an already emotional time.
Any other wishes you have for end-of-life care
In addition to the above items, your living will is also a good place to include any other wishes you have for your end-of-life care. For example, you may want to specify that you do not want to be kept on life support if there is no hope of recovery.
Making a living will is an important part of estate planning, and it can give you peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be followed in the event of your incapacitation. Be sure to include all of the above items in your living will to ensure that your loved ones are able to make decisions in accordance with your wishes.
How Should You Document Your End Of Life Wishes?
When crafting your living will, it is important to be as specific as possible about your end-of-life wishes. This document should include your preferences for medical interventions, such as life support and pain management.
If you have religious or spiritual beliefs that you want to be respected at the end of your life, be sure to include them in your living will. You may also want to consider making funeral and burial arrangements in advance. By taking the time to plan ahead, you can ensure that your final wishes are carried out exactly as you desire.
Here are some things to consider including in your living will:
1. Do you want to be kept on life support? If so, for how long?
2. Do you want to be resuscitated if your heart stops beating?
3. Do you want to receive pain medication?
4. Where do you want to die? In a hospital, hospice, or at home?
5. Who do you want to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself?
It is also important to name a healthcare proxy or someone who will make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. Be sure to discuss your wishes with this person ahead of time so they know what you want.
Are There End Of Life Wishes That Won’t Be Honored?
When it comes to end-of-life wishes, there are definitely some that will not be honored in a living will. This is because living wills are legally binding documents that outline an individual’s specific wishes for their medical care and treatment in the event that they become unable to make decisions for themselves. However, there are some gray areas when it comes to what exactly can and cannot be included in a living will.
For example, while many people may state their desire to be kept on life support in a living will, this is not always possible. If an individual is determined to be in a vegetative state with no hope of recovery, then their end-of-life wishes may not be able to be honored. Additionally, there are some medical treatments that an individual may request in a living will that may not be available or may not be medically advisable. In these cases, again, the end-of-life wishes outlined in the living will not be able to be carried out.
Ultimately, it is important to have a conversation with your doctor about your end-of-life wishes and to make sure that those wishes are realistic and achievable. By doing so, you can help to ensure that your final wishes are honored.
Make Sure You Don’t Hesitate Or Wait
You may think that you have all the time in the world, or you may be approaching the end of your life. No matter the case, it is important to check the terms of your will regularly. Make sure that your loved ones are aware of your wishes and that everything is in order. Taking the time to do this will ensure that your final wishes are carried out according to your preferences in the end.