Anastasi & Nielsen
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Why you need a living will, and what it includes

As a millennial, you may feel that life is just beginning, so drafting a will and planning end-of-life issues can wait until you have some assets worth bestowing and some heirs to whom you can bestow them.

While you might not have amassed your fortune yet, you still have some directives you need to set in stone now in case the unthinkable happens and you cannot communicate. This is where a living will comes into play, and these are the things you need to address.

Life support

You should talk to your doctor about whether you want:

  • Resuscitation if your heart stops beating. 
  • Tube feeding if you are unable to eat.
  • A ventilator if you become unable to breathe on your own.

This information goes into your medical record, but you also need to include it in your living will.

End-of-life medical procedures

Some treatments can be physically taxing, and if you are nearing the end of your life, you may not want to go through aggressive medical procedures. In your will, you can specify how long or how aggressively you want treatment for infections. You should also include your wishes regarding dialysis, which replaces kidney function by removing waste from your system and managing your fluid levels.

Health care proxy

Obviously, there could be many circumstances where there will be choices regarding your care. If you are unconscious or unable to communicate, you need a person who can speak for you. When choosing this person, make sure he or she is someone you trust to carry out your wishes, and with whom you are comfortable discussing end-of-life issues.

A will is not a fix-it-and-forget-it kind of document. Whenever you go through major life changes, it is important to revisit your wishes and see if you need to make adjustments. It is also important to seek the advice of an attorney to make sure that your living will has all the legal requirements covered.

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