While the name may indicate otherwise, a living will is not the same thing as a Last Will and Testament. The main goal of a living will is to convey a person’s wishes regarding their medical care. For instance, in Virginia, individuals can use a living will to express their desires regarding the health care treatments they do and do not want to receive. However, to better understand whether a living will is right for you and your family, consider reviewing your questions with an experienced Northern Virginia estate planning lawyer at Ardent Guardian today.
Basic Overview of Living Wills
A living will refers to a legally binding document that details how a person would like to be cared for if something should happen to them and they cannot communicate their preferences following a serious illness or accident.
These living wills, also known as advance directives, set guidelines regarding a person’s preference for medical care and other health-related decisions if they become incapacitated. These guidelines can help individuals to:
- Designate a specific person to make medical decisions on their behalf.
- Demand that certain types of treatment be withheld or provided
- Address critical medical choices such as offering procedures to prolong life.
The Requirements for Creating a Living Will in Virginia
In Virginia, living wills are considered legally enforceable. However, to set up these wills, the document must be signed by a capable adult in the presence of two witnesses. In addition, while these wills should be in writing, there are exceptions to this rule, primarily when it comes to terminally ill patients. These individuals can create an oral living will by letting their physician know of their wishes in front of two witnesses.
It is also important to note that a living will only becomes useable when the person who created it becomes incapacitated and is not able to let others know of their wishes regarding their medical treatments.
The Benefits of Having a Living Will
There are various benefits that come from having a living will. However, some of the more common reasons individuals choose to create these documents include the following:
- Planning ahead allows individuals to get the desired treatment and avoid unnecessary suffering.
- These documents help relieve caregivers from critical decision-making burdens during moments of grief or emergencies.
- These documents can help reduce disagreements and confusion about the choices a loved one would want.
However, to better understand how creating a living will could benefit you and your loved ones, contact an experienced Northern Virginia estate planning attorney today and get the answers and clarity you need.
Learn More About Living Wills, Contact Ardent Guardian Today
At Ardent Guardian, our legal team has significant experience handling legal and financial matters. As a result, we provide our clients with a diverse range of services in Northern Virginia, including estate planning, probate administration, and several other services. If you want to learn more about living wills or creating an estate, contact Ardent Guardian today or call us at 703-592-6774.