Pursuing Peace Of Mind For You And Your Family

3 steps to take after you write your living will

You have just finished creating a living will, taking the first step to making sure that you receive only the care you want in the event that you become incapacitated.

Now that you have completed your living will, what do you do now? U.S. News and World Report describes the steps to take after you finish your living will.

1. Give a copy to your doctor

You should give a copy of your living will to your primary care physician, who can then add it to your file. Your doctor can then refer to it when advising your family members on end-of-life care if you become incapacitated.

2. Give copies to your loved ones

If you become incapacitated, it will probably fall to your family members to make medical decisions on your behalf. Giving them copies of your living will informs them of your wishes and provides them with something to guide them in an emergency situation.

3. Hold a family meeting

In addition to providing family members with copies of your living will, you may also want to hold a family meeting. This gives you the opportunity to discuss the terms of your living will. Your family members have the opportunity to ask questions, and you can explain what you want and why so that there is no confusion later.

A living will is like a seatbelt in that if you wait until you need it, it is too late. The same goes for explaining your wishes to your family; if the need ever arises for your living will to go into effect, you will not have the capacity to answer their questions.