A living will is a document that allows you to state your wishes regarding life support if you are physically incapable of sharing your end-of-life wishes. This document is only used if you are in an irreversible coma or continued vegetative state and can no longer make and share your decisions.
In this post, let’s explore who needs a living will and what to include in one. (Download a free living will template here.)
Who Needs a Living Will?
Any individual over the age of 18 can and should create a living will. Creating a living will is a way to ensure that your wishes are communicated to your doctor. A living will also means that your family will not be forced to make any life-support decisions without your input.
What Should a Living Will Include?
A living will can be as specific or as general as you like, but being specific is preferable because your wishes are more clearly defined. You can choose a person to make health care decisions for you under the instance that you are not physically able to make those wishes known. You can also detail the type of life support treatment you do or do not want, discuss funeral/memorial plans, and share any end-of-life instructions.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Under Ohio law, a living will declaration only applies to you if you are permanently unconscious or diagnosed with a terminal condition. If you’d like to direct medical treatment under other circumstances, you’ll want to discuss setting up a Health Care Power of Attorney with your lawyer.
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles has a Donor Registry enrollment form that we recommend you complete and file. This document shares your wishes regarding organ and tissue donation in the event of your demise. It also gives permission for medical professionals to collect the organ(s) and/or tissues you have chosen to donate after your death if it is medically possible.
It is always helpful to discuss your end-of-life and medical treatment wishes with your family and your attorney. It’s a difficult conversation to have, but it is useful when the unexpected occurs.
Are you ready to file your living will? The Law Office of Tom Somos, LLC is here to help make sure your wishes are communicated clearly. Our team will help you make the necessary decisions for your care. Contact the Law Office of Tom Somos, LLC today at 614-488-2270 or stop by our office if you’re in the Columbus area.