Using An Estate Plan To Cover Healthcare Issues

While many associate estate plans with wills and trusts, a complete estate plan also covers things that can occur before death. One of those important considerations is a living will. This form of planning ahead can help your loved ones better cope with your healthcare situation. Read on to find out more.

 What to Know About Living Wills

These simple documents are known as living wills because they address needs that happen when incapacity occurs before death. That means the person is no longer able to make healthcare decisions on their own due to medical or mental issues. They may also be known as declarations or advanced directives. Only you have the power to direct facets of your medical care when you are conscious – a living will picks up when you become unconscious and cannot speak for yourself. This is a way to plan what type and level of care you are given when that happens. Making out a plan and making your loved ones aware of the location of it should be part of your estate planning.

When is a Living Will Active?

You can control when the directions in a living will become active. Most of the time, that includes:

  • When you are unconscious and are not expected to survive.
  • When your illness is terminal, and you can no longer communicate.

Decisions You Must Make

Nothing about making living will decisions is easy. Only you can decide what you do and do not want done to keep you alive under the circumstances. Usually, the below issues should be considered when completing a living will plans.

  1. Nutrition: Do you want to be fed via a tube in your abdomen? In most cases, those unable to eat by mouth are provided nutrients via an intravenous solution. The IV solution is considered humane but won't necessarily prolong life. A feeding tube, however, can sometimes prolong life indefinitely.
  2. Resuscitation: Many don't want CPR or other measures instituted when their prognosis is poor.
  3. Pain Relief: Most opt to have pain relief on a regular basis so they can be assured of being comfortable even if they cannot communicate.
  4. Organ donation issues: If you want to donate, make sure your wishes are known in the living will since the hospital will need to take preservative measures.

To learn more information about using an estate plan to cover healthcare, reach out to real estate legal services near you