A new survey released last month found that many people are interested in planning for the end of their life, through a living will or advanced directive. However, less than a quarter of the people who think that this planning is important actually have done their planning. According to the study, 80 percent of people don't think that end-of-life planning is important.
The majority of them have not planned their documents, but 40 percent of them say they have talked with a loved one about their wishes. While this is a very important step, it is still important for people to have their wishes acknowledged in writing. This can help a family know that they are doing the right thing if someone is unable to care for themselves at the end of their life.
Families can often get into arguments about a loved one's care, despite all of them having the interests of that person in mind. Having a written legal document can help family members understand a person's wishes and ensure their family members that they are making the correct decisions. Advanced directives are one document that might be used, but there are other estate planning documents that might also help.
Speaking with an experienced estate planning attorney can not only help a person plan for after they are gone, but what will happen if they aren't able to take care of themselves in their last days. As difficult as these discussions are, they are extremely important to have, and even more important to get down in writing.
Source: amednews.com, "76% of patients neglect end-of-life care planning," Kevin B. O'Reilly, Feb. 27 2012
-Our law firm can help with end-of-life and estate planning. Please visit our website to learn more.