It’s incredibly important to have documentation for everything that could happen to you or your estate, even if some of the documents deal with potentialities you’d rather not think about. Among those is a set of directives for health care should you or someone in your family not have the capability to express their own wishes.
This formal document is known as a living will, which differs from a last will and testament in that the latter deals with the distribution of remaining assets after someone’s death. A living will provides a lot of necessary direction should someone slip into a coma, become unresponsive in long-term care, or are incapacitated after a health issue such as a stroke. There can be added thoroughness to living wills as well, such as directives in cases of diseases that cause mental degradation like Alzheimer’s disease. The direction contained within a living will largely has to do with life-prolonging care. One of the hardest things a family member may have to do is determine when it’s better to let someone pass on than to continue living in an unresponsive state. A living will removes that burden from them by clearly expressing a person’s wishes for what should happen upon entering a dire medical state where they are rendered unable to communicate.