No one can predict what will happen as they age, so it is typically wisest to plan for even the worst-case scenario. You can best protect yourself when you have addressed situations that will leave you physically, financially and legally vulnerable.
Testators creating estate plans in Louisiana often focus so much on the succession of their property that they don’t stop to think about their own protection. Advance directives like living wills are important tools for the protection of older adults who may be at risk of medical issues as they grow older.
Why should you consider adding a living will to your estate plan?
Most people have strong medical preferences
Maybe you belong to a religion that frowns on certain kinds of medical care, like blood transfusions or drugs developed using stem cells. Perhaps you feel strongly about not receiving heroic interventions when you grow older because of your family history of Alzheimer’s disease.
Your medical wishes are what should determine the care that you receive even when you are unconscious or lack the cognitive capacity to speak on your own behalf. Your living will gives you a place to clarify your medical preferences so that the care you receive reflects your values.
It takes the pressure off your family
Imagine finding out that your spouse was in a car accident and has not regained consciousness. You rush to the hospital, only to have the staff confront you with a dozen different questions. How long should you keep your spouse on life support? Do they want to be an organ donor if they die?
It can be incredibly stressful to try to recall conversations about someone’s medical wishes when the family is already in the throes of a terrible scenario. When you put everything in writing now, your loved ones won’t need to worry about your care later.
You can preserve your legacy
Families will often invest as much as they can attempting to save someone’s life, possibly against their personal preferences. Weeks of life support could be so expensive that your loved ones won’t inherit anything from your estate.
Advance planning that includes not just changing how you hold your assets to make them less vulnerable to creditor claims but also clear instructions about the interventions you want can prevent your family from dissipating their own inheritances while simultaneously ignoring your medical preferences.
Integrating the right documents into your Louisiana estate plan will benefit you and the people that you love.