Common Misunderstandings about Living Wills

Living wills are legal documents that give healthcare professionals directions about how you would like to be cared for in the event that you cannot directly communicate with them. Many people are apprehensive about drafting a living will. It can be difficult to consider end-of-life decisions, especially at a young age. However, having such a document can save your loved ones from a lot of pain, angst, and strife in trying to decide about the best care for you should you be incapacitated.

Misunderstandings and the Facts

For some people, common misconceptions about living wills may make them less likely to consider drafting a living will. Consider the following:

  • Misunderstanding: If doctors know I have a living will, they will be less likely to treat me.
    • Fact: Actually, doctors are interested in knowing exactly how you want to be treated. You can specify just how much care you want. Most doctors will want to fulfill your wishes, but even if they disagree with your choices, they are legally bound to treat you as stated in this document.
  • Misunderstanding: Living wills are just for older adults or those who are very sick.
    • Fact: Although those individuals are most likely to use a living will, in some ways it is even more important for healthy, younger people to be prepared. If you are in an accident or suddenly become ill, you could be kept alive in a non-functioning state for decades without a living will. Your family will be almost entirely responsible for decisions, and they may not choose what you would want at all.
  • Misunderstanding: Naming a healthcare proxy means I give up the ability to make my own choices.
    • Fact: This is patently untrue. You will still make all your own decisions while competent, and being declared incompetent is a complex process with plenty of oversight to make sure that it only happens if you are truly unable to communicate your decisions.

Some people also worry about what happens if they make a living will and then change their mind about some aspect of it. Living wills can be updated, and once you have created one you should check it periodically to make sure it still reflects your wishes.

Contact Us

If you are over the age of 18 and do not have a living will, you should take action to put one together as soon as possible. For understanding, capable help with this sometimes confusing matter, contact the Houston wills and trusts attorneys of Garg & Associates, P.C., at 800-242-2151 today.

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Garg & Associates, PC | 21 Waterway Avenue, Suite 300 | The Woodlands, Texas 77380 Please call 281-362-2865 | Fax: 866-743-4506
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