living will
living will
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The value of creating a financial power of attorney is widely understood by business owners, but what about living wills? While no one enjoys thinking about worst-case scenarios, drafting a living will is a smart, empathetic choice toward our loved ones. 

A living will is considered a useful end-of-life tool that contains instructions that allow you to plan for medical care when you are no longer able to communicate. It takes away difficult decision-making from your closest loved ones and expresses your wishes regarding the treatments that you are willing to receive.

You can simply download a free living will form to create one.

But first, let’s take a serious look at the benefits.

Peace of Mind for Your Family and Closest Ones

A living will acts as a guide to assist your family in making difficult life-or-death decisions. While a living will cannot anticipate every possible scenario and provide an exact road map, it can take the stress away from your loved ones and help them avoid emotionally charged arguments in difficult times. 

Ideally, you should not wait for an unexpected accident or debilitating condition to draft your living will, as your feelings about life and health may be dramatically influenced. It is a great idea to write it when still in good health and to update it whenever needed. 

Creating the document in advance also provides a good opportunity to talk to family and loved ones, in particular the ones who might provide final care, so that they know about your wishes.

In short, deciding in advance what should happen in a critical situation allows everyone to concentrate better on the human aspects when the time arrives.

Control Over the Treatment that You Want to Receive

There are many reasons why you may or may not want to receive a certain type of medical treatment. These may range from religious beliefs to uncertainties in the outcome of some procedures. 

Also, many treatments require patient authorization, which you may not be able to provide if you are incapacitated.

A living will determines the types of medical care that you would like to receive and provides consent ahead of time so that your closest ones don’t need to decide for you.

Lastly, consider placing your living will in a registry and talking to your doctors to make it more official.

Avoidance of Financial Stress

There is no 100% guarantee that a certain medical treatment will be effective, and much less so for life-or-death procedures and palliative care services, which can be extremely costly and extend over long periods of time. 

Very often, the families of business owners are left with enormous medical debt to deal with. Sometimes even to the extent of having to file bankruptcy. Living wills are a great tool to lighten the financial strain in such situations, as they provide specific instructions for a given scenario. 

Communication When You No Longer Can Communicate

A living will outlines your wishes in case that you are unconscious or can no longer speak or communicate in any other way. This end-of-life legally binding document allows you to give specific directions to doctors and family members. For example, you may include whether you wish to receive breathing assistance, artificial nutrition or hydration, CPR, etc.  

By drafting a living will, you get control over a difficult situation and eliminate the burdens and guilt of decision-making for family and loved ones.

A living will may also address the issue of incapacitation and how it can be determined in your specific case. For example, you may wish to let a board of doctors decide when you are incapacitated, instead of having a single doctor do it. This is especially important for a sole proprietor, as personal finances are often tied to the business.

Many business owners are not fully aware of the importance of living wills because they may already use other legal tools such as financial powers of attorney in their businesses. However, drafting a living will when you are in full health is a very smart decision that will provide you and your loved ones peace of mind when the time comes.

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