Drafting documents to talk about the guardian for your children and the distribution of your property after your death is a responsible choice. It is even more beneficial for you to also address the possibility of some medical emergency in the future where you don’t die but require support from others.
Issues ranging from a job injury to a slip-and-fall while on vacation could leave you unconscious or unable to communicate your wishes to others. A living will, which some people refer to as an advanced medical directive, gives clear guidance on your medical wishes so that your family members or your chosen healthcare proxy can obtain the treatment that best aligns with your beliefs and wishes.
What issues can you address in your living will?
Specific care preferences
Do you belong to a religion that crowns on medications developed from stem cells or blood transfusions? If you have a family history of serious substance abuse and therefore a strong personal aversion to narcotic pain relievers? Your Minnesota living will provides an opportunity to explain your preferences on everything from pain management and specific treatments to life support.
Where you received treatment
You have the option of designating specific facilities or healthcare providers as your preferred options in your living will. This can be especially important for those who have chronic health issues and who require the medical supervision of someone familiar with their unique needs. Those who require a professional from the same religion as them or specialized care may also have strong feelings about where they receive treatment or who provides their care.
If you want to leave anatomical gifts
Especially if someone’s death is unexpected, like a sudden car crash, one of the biggest challenges for the surviving family members will involve whether or not to permit healthcare professionals to harvest organs and tissues as anatomical gifts.
If you feel very strongly either about not donating tissue or about making a gift after your death, it is typically advisable to include such preferences in your written documents so that family members can follow your wishes rather than guessing about your preferences at a time when they’re stress levels will be high and therefore their memories will not necessarily operate optimally.
Adequately addressing factors in your living will can help you and the people you love to handle any challenge that arises in the future with grace.