Will you have a living will when medical crisis strikes? It seems as though life just plods along and nothing changes; but then, everything changes in a moment.
Weve had clients who are seemingly healthy and all of a sudden are injured or seriously ill. If you are so ill that you cannot give informed consent, you cant sign a living will. Like all estate planning documents, you need to have them in place before you actually need to use them.
Let us tell you about a woman named, Grace. Grace and her husband had moved to a retirement community and they updated their estate planning documents after the move. (Any time you move to a new state, its wise to have your documents professionally reviewed for updates.)
Grace included a living will in her estate plan. She didnt want to be kept alive with medical heroics (including life support machines) if she was in an irreversible coma or persistent vegetative state.
She was diagnosed with cancer shortly after her move and gradually went down hill. One day, she fell, calling out her husbands name. Grace never regained consciousness.
The doctors examined her and determined that she was brain dead; they asked if she had a living will. She did. Her husband brought it to the hospital. He and their children visited and then life support was removed.
Grace died peacefully just 15 minutes later. While her family was sad to lose her, they felt at peace with the execution of the living will.