Frequently Asked Questions About Living Wills

Sometimes life can be unpredictable, putting us into situations we would never have imagined according to a living will lawyer in Des Moines, IA, from the law office of the Law Group of Iowa. No one wants to think about their demise. Additionally, no one wants to think about what will happen if they become incapacitated and unable to communicate or make proper decisions. However, incidents can happen, and while you probably won’t get into a car accident that leaves you on life support, it’s still a good idea to plan for such an unlikely event. A living will do just that. We’ll explore questions people frequently ask regarding living wills.

  1. How Does a Living Will Differ From a Last Will and Testament? 

While these two types of wills can go hand and hand, two significant differences exist. First, ultimately, the last will detail how you want your estate and assets handled after you pass away. The final will can also take matters like who assumes guardianship of your minor children and how you want your funeral handled (although funeral instructions aren’t legally binding.) A living will only address how you feel about specific medical procedures. These procedures include:

  • Ventilators or breathing tubes
  • Blood transfusions
  • Organ donation
  • Preferences regarding CPR
  • Feeding tubes
  • Dialysis
  • Pain medications
  1. Do You Need a Living and Last Will and Testament? 

It’s a good idea to have both legal documents; the same attorney or law firm can even help you craft them. However, a living will is sometimes only half of the equation in many ways. For example, if your living will stipulate that you want to be taken off of life support after a certain period, there’s still the issue of what happens after you pass away.

  1. Aren’t Living Wills Only For Older People? 

There’s no denying that the older you are, the more likely you’ll start wanting to draft your wills. However, it’s a good idea for anyone over 18 to consider drafting at least a living will. At a young age, you may not have enough assets or property that you can distribute to beneficiaries, meaning drafting a last will might be too early. However, a living will give your family peace of mind and even help them avoid needing to pay substantial medical bills.

  1. If I Have a Living Will, Won’t a Physician Do Less to Save My Life? 

Medical care professionals must save or preserve someone’s life as long as it aligns with your living will’s wishes. A living will’s purpose isn’t to indicate to a medical care professional that you don’t want any treatment should you become incapacitated in some form. Instead, a living will specify what type of treatment you’ll allow, for how long, to what degree, etc.

  1. Should I Hire a Lawyer to Help Me Draft My Living Will? 

It’s possible to draft and notarize a living will without a lawyer’s input. There are plenty of resources that can help you accomplish this. However, it’s better to have an attorney help with something so important. Besides your will needs to comply with strict federal and state guidelines, you must also use the correct language. What can appear like unnecessary legal jargon to a layman’s eyes can, in fact, protect you and your will from loopholes or other issues.

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