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Why You Should Sign a Living Will aka Directive to Physicians

  • By: Christopher Benson
  • Published: October 24, 2013

You don’t have to be married, rich, retired or sick to need a Will and a Revocable Trust.

Living wills (aka Directive to Physicians) provide legal information for your friends, family and your health care team in the event you are ever involved in a serious accident or sudden illness in Washington.

An accident could happen at anytime. We see the reports everyday on multiple media outlets.

You have car insurance, right? Why do you have car insurance? You have car insurance in case something unexpected happens to protect your car.

Well…if you are willing to take steps to protect a “thing” in case something unexpected happens, Why don’t you also take steps to protect what is really more important….YOU!

With car insurance that you pay for every month, if you don’t pay for it on time, the insurance company cancels your policy.

However, with Peace of Mind Planning, you only have to take the time to do it once and you are set! Your planning doesn’t get cancelled and you don’t have continuing costs for coverage. What a great deal 🙂

What an advance directive addresses:

  • Living Will. This is where you decide, while you are healthy, what live-saving measures you do or don’t want in an emergency. Just like a pregnant woman would not wait until the baby is coming to make vital decisions about her birth, you want to make these decisions while you are healthy and able to research and consider all your options with no time limit.
  • Medical Power of Attorney. This document designates an individual that you choose to make medical decisions for you if you can’t make them yourself. This person will be making decisions that effect your life or death, so you want to choose someone mature and levelheaded, not overly emotional or easily stressed. They should understand your medical wishes and what kind of quality of life you desire. They don’t need to be a family member, and they don’t necessarily have to live near you.
  • DNR. A Do Not Resuscitate order specifies that you are not to be given CPR if your heart stops or you stop breathing. You do not have to include this in your advance directive, and you can have a DNR in your medical chart even if you don’t have an advance directive.

Over the past 21 years, the Law Offices of Christopher A. Benson has helped more than 800 clients prepare and utilize simple and effective planning techniques to protect them and their families in order to avoid probate, save estate taxes, save money and save added emotional burden that comes from long term illness and/or death of a family member. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation to find out how we can help you and your family.

Christopher Benson

About the Author Chris served on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity
Seattle/S. King County for 10 years and served as Vice President
of the organization during part of that time. Read More