A Living Will: What Is It & Why Do You Need One?

Creating a living will is an act of courage and selflessness

A living will — it sounds very serious, but it’s actually quite different from what we know about wills. We’ve all seen those scenes in movies—A family gathers in a room, and a lawyer reads out the last will and testament of a beloved member of the family—Some members are thrilled and some are left unsatisfied. This scene is usually followed up with disbelief that everything was left to the housekeeper or a child no one had even heard of. In real life of course, this event plays out very differently. 

Defining a Living Will

The better-known Last Will and Testament outlines how you wish your estate to be distributed. A living will, on the other hand, is part of an end-of-life plan that outlines your wishes regarding medical care and procedures for your family and doctors. It’s important to note here that a living will is not a legally binding document in Canada. Essentially, this document contains written instructions to family in the event you become unable to communicate on your own behalf due to health or medical conditions.  

Why Should You Have a Living Will?

We understand that planning for a future that may never happen, especially this kind of planning, can be challenging. We know why so many choose to ignore it and “live in the moment,” as it were. The thing about planning for the potential future is that it can make the living in the moment much more enjoyable for you and your loved ones… The security of making a solid plan well in advance cannot be overstated. While there are many benefits to creating a living will, here are a few of the most important:

  • Your desires are known and can be followed.
  • It helps healthcare professionals to make decisions.
  • Your family can skip the fighting and guilt associated with making these decisions for you.
  • Your family and doctors can more easily avoid disagreements as your wishes are known.
  • You’ve communicated everything that may have been missed in these situations, including care for pets, vehicles, property, and your person.
How Do I Go About Creating a Living Will?

There’s no one set method to create a living will because this isn’t a legally binding document. The best way to go about this is to look for online end-of-life planning services. They can help you navigate this emotionally stressful subject and lay out your wishes in several hypothetical situations. 

Your living will should include clear instructions for several medical situations, a single representative who you’d like to make medical decisions on your behalf, and all your personal medical information. Once you’ve thought all this through and written it out clearly in a document, the next step is to discuss it with those it will affect should a medical incident occur. 

At Check-Out Planning Services, we help you with your end-of-life plan and everything it entails. Having these discussions with loved ones can be upsetting and stressful. CheckOutplan not only helps you plan everything so that nothing’s missed, but it also help you lead these discussions in an accessible way. Contact us today, and let’s help you plan for tomorrow so you can stop worrying today.