Advance directives, or living wills, are an important message left behind for your family. They tell your family exactly what to do with you, should you be in a coma or vegetative state and unable to answer for yourself. If important healthcare concerns come up, your advance directive/living will tells your family what they should do next. Here is why it is so important to be very specific with this legal piece of paper.
The Online Basic Copy
Sure, you could download the online basic copy of an advanced directive/living will, but this just touches on the basics. It asks you what you want family to do if you are in a coma, and what you want them to do if your doctor says you will spend the rest of your life in a vegetative state. It also asks about DNR codes, which stands for "Do Not Resuscitate," an order given to avoid reviving you should you stop breathing. However, there are several factors here you may not be able to see in advance, and that is why you should hire a wills and trusts lawyer to help.
In a coma, you may or may not revive yourself. It could take a few months, or it could take years. Some of the longest comas on record are twenty-plus years! Can you imagine your family exhausting their finances and borrowing every penny they have to keep you on life support? Maybe they sign off on your bills, requiring them to become your responsibility should you ever come out of your coma? Can you imagine what that would be like, coming out of a coma, not recognizing yourself because you have grown older, and then being told you owe millions for keeping you alive while you were comatose? Yikes.
The Lawyer and the Advanced, Advance Directive Legal Form (or Long Form)
It is situations like this that you should consider when you are filling out an advance directives form. What would you specifically expect your spouse and/or children to do? Exactly how long should they wait before they take you off life support? Do you have a monetary limit for your care in this type of situation? If you just fill out the basic living will form on your own, you would not leave enough details for them to know what to do. The advanced advance directive legal form drawn up by your lawyer does have enough room for all of the details.
For more information about living wills, contact an attorney at firms like Wright Law Offices, PLLC.Share