You have carefully thought things through regarding your medical care if you fall into a permanent coma. And you have let family and trusted friends know about your wishes. A series of discussions you had with them should have it all covered. Or so you think.
As it turns out, those discussions were not enough. Not even close. You need something that is legally binding and firmly supports your wishes in case you become incapacitated and cannot communicate. A living will can accomplish this, helping your family through this stressful and emotional time because you have already made the decisions. Your loved ones will not have to guess or argue.
Instructions on the care you want or do not want
A living will provides thorough instructions about the type of medical procedures you want or do not want should you become permanently unconscious and giving you food and water would provide you with no comfort. This document may include whether you want life support and to receive food and fluids. If in a coma, you should have instructions as to whether to continue or stop treatment.
This effective legal document – which only you as its creator may revoke — helps you avoid the fate of having family and health care professionals prolong your life even if the chances of survival are only slight.
For a living will to be legally binding in Ohio, it must be valid, up-to-date and correctly signed. Once these documents are completed, store them in an easily accessible fireproof home safe. Also, give them to the people whom you have entrusted to make the choices according to your wishes. This group may include your spouse, partner, adult children, primary care physician and attorney.
A key ally: an estate planning attorney
When creating a living will, it is essential to have an experienced legal ally in your corner. Seek the advice of a skilled estate planning attorney who can guide you through this step-by-step process in establishing this important legal document.