As people age, they often consider how they want their final days or years to proceed. For example, many contemplate whether to accept or refuse life-prolonging treatment in the case of incapacitation.
At first, you may feel troubled by these thoughts, but it is a natural part of aging. The next logical step is to discuss your healthcare wishes with an estate planning representative. Working together, you can create advance medical directives like a living will to control your end-of-life care.
What can you do with a living will?
Under Minnesota’s living will laws, you can choose the type of treatments you wish to receive if incapacitated and those you do not want. For example, if your condition is terminal, you can reject artificial nutrition and hydration.
You can also instruct doctors to only address your pain during your final days, allowing you to die without experiencing discomfort.
Other benefits of a living will include:
- It relieves end-of-life anxiety and uncertainty
- It spares loved ones from making tough medical decisions
- It keeps control over life and death in your hands
- It removes treatment uncertainty for medical providers
As far as potential drawbacks of a living will, there are not really any disadvantages. Since you can revoke or change its terms any time you like before incapacitation occurs, it is a secure way to address your final healthcare wishes.
Who needs a living will?
All senior citizens should consider adding a living will to their existing estate plans, but these documents protect people of all ages. For example, a living will can benefit young people who suffer from terminal illnesses or catastrophic injuries like brain damage.