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Top Misconceptions of a Living Will

A “Living Will” is not the same thing as a Will. The latter directs where your stuff should go. The former tells your family and your doctor how aggressively they should care for you at the end of your life, such as whether you want to be put on life support. Here are some other misconceptions:

Misconceptions of a living will

Misconception: Living Wills are just for elderly people or those with terminal illnesses.

Actuality: It is never too early to create a Living Will. Hopefully you will be healthy for many years, but tragedy can strike anyone at any age. You don’t want to put your loved ones in the position of having to figure out what type of end-of-life care you would have wanted if you are unable to communicate this.

Misconception: A Living Will is the same as a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR).

Actuality: A Living Will outlines what type of medical treatment you would want in a life-threatening situation, including whether you want to withhold treatment if there is no hope you could regain a good quality of life. With a Living Will in hand, your doctor then creates a DNR order, which is the official document allowing the medical staff to withhold such treatment.

Misconception: If I have a Living Will, I don’t need to discuss my wishes with my family.

Actuality: It is extremely important that your immediate family knows about your desires for the end of your life. This is not a comfortable conversation to have, because no one wants to think about their loved ones leaving them. But it’s important that they know what you want, should something tragic occur. (You should also know what they want.) In addition to your family, it’s helpful to give a copy of your Living Will to your family physician.

A Living Will is often created at the same time as your regular Will and any other documents you may need to convey your wishes. Contact the Law Office of Gary M. Landau by email or call 954-979- 6566 to learn more about which documents you may need. Attorney Gary Landau personally returns all calls to him.

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