When adults create a living will, they are putting their wishes for end-of-life care in writing. This ensures physicians provide the care a person wants, even when the patient is unable to communicate, as when in a coma or vegetative state. In many cases, living wills also address issues such as personal grooming instructions and funeral plans.
It’s advised that everyone create a living will once their reach the age of 18. While thinking about one’s end-of-life can be difficult, having a living will keeps loved ones from going through the anguish of making decisions with no guidance. Further, in many states, not having such a will limits that amount of control family members have over a person’s end-of-life care.
Individuals already experiencing health issues have a more immediate need for creating a living will. These issues include the possibility of hospitalization or surgery, or the diagnosis of a terminal condition. For these individuals, the risk of becoming incapacitated is much higher, thus making creation of a living will more important.