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Are there any Drawbacks of a Living Will?

A living will is a legal document meant to outline your wishes for both medical care and end-of-life decisions in the event that you are unable to communicate them yourself. A living will ensures that decisions made on your behalf are in line with your desires and preferences, rather than those of well-meaning family or friends. While a living will can provide peace of mind, are there any drawbacks of a living will?

Although a living will can define what treatments you may or may not want, they are limited in scope because they cannot include every possible scenario. Unexpected situations can arise which may not be covered in your living will. A living will contains guidelines; it is not a technical instruction manual. Therefore, if you have strong opinions or preferences on specific treatments, be sure to include them in your living will.

The Colorado living will is a standard form that allows you to decide what treatment you want if you have a terminal condition or are in a persistent vegetative state.  It also contains a section to provide specific instructions to your agent under medical power of attorney and your doctors.  Another provision allows you to choose whether the decisions you made in your living will control or you can give your agent the authority to override these decisions.

The last potential drawback of a living will is the impact it can have on your loved ones. At the end of the day it is your right to receive (or refuse) any care options, but illness and death are fraught with emotions. Even if your loved ones know it is what you want, making decisions about end-of-life care can be difficult, whether you choose to prolong your survival or not. A living will can provide peace of mind and relieve the burden of decision-making for your loved ones, but it will still be a difficult time for them.

Ultimately, the decision to create a living will is a personal one, but the benefits generally outweigh the drawbacks. If you’re ready to make your wishes known through a living will, call the estate planning lawyers at Brown Law Firm at (303) 339-3750.