A living will in Vermont is a legal document that provides the details on the type of care and treatment you wish (or don’t wish) be performed to keep you alive. It’s used most often in illnesses or injuries deemed “unrecoverable”. Many opt for these documents for a few reasons – many don’t wish extraordinary measures be taken to keep their body alive even though there are medical methods to do so. Just because technology allows us to remain alive indefinitely doesn’t mean we have to maintain “life” when there’s no hope of “living”. It’s always a difficult position for family members and often, they make decisions based on fears versus the reality of what those decisions will mean. It’s human nature, after all.
It keeps the power in your hands to refuse extraordinary measures that would keep your body alive when there is no hope of recovery. You’re better able to discern when you’re allowed the option of a more natural death.
Spiritual and Religious Beliefs
The beliefs surrounding life and death are deep and have kept America divided on this issue. There are many religious considerations, as well, and for many, that’s the driving force behind their choices. For those who don’t want to leave those hard choices to an already-grieving family, a living will can remedy the situation. And too, remember that we make a living will when there’s really no fear at all dictating the decision. Because many believe life ends when the brain can no longer function, they’re able to maintain their dignity and ease the burden – both emotional and financial – for family members and other loved ones.
A Living Will in Vermont Covers Your Bases
In Vermont, an estate planning attorney can put into place not only a living will, but also an estate plan that determines where your worldly possessions go. Assets, guardianship for minor children, and how you choose your estate to be divided are all important. When we approach this with a practical mindset, we’re better able to go into it with the goal of a strong end of life plan.
Unfortunately, many opt for the “do it yourself” living wills. Too many times, these documents have further complicated matters rather than accomplish what they were designed to do. When we take on the legalities ourselves, we’re more prone to miss important details that can add to a family’s burden. Incomplete documents ensure our efforts were wasted.
A Living Will Becomes Your Voice
A properly prepared living will becomes your voice. Often, it’s the only way a family knows what your desires are. Without a living will or advance directive, it falls to the hospital or medical team to continue to provide life support. In some instances, a spouse will step up and relay what your wishes would have been, even if there’s no concrete proof. This can open another Pandora’s box, so to speak, of family members who disagree with what the spouse insists you would want.
If there is no spouse, other relatives can come forward, again, this rarely happens without some resistance from other family members. No better illustrations were made than in the 2005 case of Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman whose family could not agree on what should happen to the young woman who’d been in a coma for years. Her husband wanted one thing while her parents believed otherwise. It was brutally difficult for all involved and unfortunately, it wasn’t settled until the government stepped in – and even then, it took considerable time to work it out. By ensuring a living will in Vermont is in place, you save your family that burden.
Meeting with a Vermont estate planning attorney can eliminate these difficult decisions in their entirety and can allow you to move forward with peace of mind over what might ultimately happen in the event of an accident or illness that leaves you unable to speak your mind.
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