Living Wills: What to Know, How to Decide, and When to Take Action

At McCulloch & Miller, we often get questions from our clients about when it might be the right time to work on creating a living will. To answer this question, it is important to first understand what a living will entails and what effect it might have on you and your loved ones in the future. With this baseline of understanding, you can then make a decision about what is right for you, your circumstances, and your family members.

A living will provides information about what kind of medical care you want to get if you cannot express your wishes or you are reaching the end of your life. Oftentimes, this key information is never communicated to family members and friends; thus, when a loved one is no longer healthy enough to verbalize their needs, the people in their lives are left guessing about what they would have wanted.

Living wills generally take effect when a doctor (or sometimes two doctors, depending on the state) determines that a patient is either permanently incapacitated or unable to communicate. The doctor must put in writing that the patient is in this condition, and at that point, the family members resort to the individual’s living will to determine what kind of medical care they will receive.

One of the most obvious benefits of a living will is that it makes it easier for a patient’s loved ones to navigate the caregiving process. It also allows you, the patient, to receive the specific care you want even when you are unable to directly ask for it. At our firm, we have also seen countless situations where family members avoid unnecessary conflict because their loved one has written a living will that makes these kinds of decisions for them.

When clients ask when it might be time to make a living will, we advise that the best time is always now. While you are healthy, it is best to put your desires into writing so that nothing is left to chance. Unfortunately, disaster can strike at unexpected moments. By taking the time now to write out a living will, you can be prepared for whatever situation might come your way.

Are You Looking for a Houston Estate Planning Attorney?

At McCulloch & Miller, PLLC, we have decades of experience serving Houston residents in the fields of estate administration, estate planning, and elder law. We help families walk through difficult decisions so that they can transition as easy as possible when the time comes for a loved one to receive intensive medical care. Our attorneys have in-depth experience in dealing with these situations, and we take pride in our compassionate, client-centered approach to every one of our cases.

If you are looking for an estate planning attorney in Houston, look no further. For a confidential consultation, give us a call at McCulloch & Miller today. We can be reached at 713-936-9073. You can also connect with us through our secure online contact form.

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