Does your Rhode Island estate plan need a living will?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Your estate plan helps guide the probate process after you die. It can also protect you while you are still alive. Certain documents can help in the event of an unforeseen medical catastrophe.

Maybe you suffer a cardiac event that leaves you in a coma, or maybe you acquire a brain injury because of an equipment malfunction at work. Although it is rare, medical incapacitation is something you need to consider. There may come a time when you are not able to speak on your own behalf about your medical wishes.

Creating advance directives as part of a larger estate plan can be a way to ensure others will know what care you should receive if you are unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate your wishes. A living will is one of the more important medical documents you might include in your estate plan.

Rhode Island law allows you to make choices now about medical care

If you are ever unable to speak for yourself while in need of medical support, a living will declaration drafted while you are an adult of sound mind can inform the medical care that you receive.

You can request life support in certain circumstances or request that medical professionals withdraw life support in other circumstances. Some people want any and all interventions until it becomes obvious that they have irreversible and permanent brain damage or an incurable condition that will only progress.

In addition to a living will declaration that talks about life support, you can fill out other advance directive paperwork stalking about decisions like anatomical gifts and pain management preferences.

Living wills benefit you and your family

Having a loved one hurt in an accident or suffering from a massive medical issue is a very stressful experience. The only thing worse is the pressure to suddenly make major decisions about the treatment that person receives or what happens to their body when they die.

If you take the time to make those decisions now, your loved ones won’t endure that stress if anything unexpected ever happens to you. Additionally, you will know that there are instructions so that people can follow your personal preferences. Drafting a living will and other advanced health care directives can be an important part of estate planning in Rhode Island.