When your family is in trouble, you are there to respond to any needs they have. If an illness or injury leaves your children or spouse unable to speak, you consult with the doctors to ensure they receive the proper treatment they need. But what happens when something happens to you?

Despite your precautions, a major life event could leave you unable to communicate. While you may trust your family to make medical decisions for you, you may also have specific wishes for the type of care you want. And if your loved ones don’t agree with all of your decisions, you can use a living will to ensure that health care professionals follow your conditions.

You can choose your treatment

The main purpose of a living will is for you to explain to your family and doctors the medical treatments you want and don’t want. You can list out your wishes for treatments like:

  • Organ/tissue donation
  • Feeding tubes
  • Ventilator machines
  • Medications you will use and ones you want to avoid

By going through any possible medical emergency or treatment you can think of, you can ensure that everyone is clear on your desired care. You don’t have to worry about receiving any medical procedures that you aren’t comfortable with.

Life-saving measures

Living wills also explain your wishes for resuscitation. The document can say when doctors should or should not perform CPR or shock your heart with defibrillators. The document can also contain a Do Not Resuscitate order, letting doctors know that you don’t want any life-saving measures if you stop breathing.

An early plan prepares for every possibility

You may not want to think about being unable to express your wishes for medical care. But if something happens to you, you will leave your family to struggle with making decisions for you.

By planning ahead, you can ensure that any wishes you have are clearly written out in your living will.