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Should Young People Make Living Wills?

written by: Angela Johnson•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 4/11/2011

Learn the reasons why young people should make living wills. If you have wondered what the benefits of living wills for young people are, you will find your answer here.

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    Why Young People Should Make Living Wills

    Living Will Living wills for young people have become a topic of interest for the general public after seeing family disputes over Terri Schiavo's death in 2005. Creating a living will, also called an advanced directive, is a way for a person to have their end of life wishes carried out. This directive covers matters such as the use of artificial life support systems like breathing and feeding tubes, should a person become incapacitated.

    People do not tend to plan for accidents to happen; however, they do happen. Accidents can happen to people who are young or old and in every economic bracket. Not having a living will means that another person or the hospital makes decisions based on their wishes rather than those of the person who is incapacitated. Some people feel that they would want to be kept alive by all means possible if they become incapacitated, while others feel that this only prolongs their death experience and do not wish to receive any artificial life support at all. Document your wishes in a living will to be sure they are followed.

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    How to Make a Living Will

    Creating a living will for young people is fairly easy and can either be done using a do it yourself form or through an attorney who can draft the living will and its contents. Many do it yourself websites such as Legal Zoom have online legal forms such as a living will. The document must be signed by a witness who does not have an interest in the person. The witness cannot be a relative or anyone who handles healthcare or healthcare bills for the person. Be sure to know the difference between a living will and a power of attorney. A living will spells out wishes of resuscitation and use of artificial life support systems. A living will can be as specific as the person wishes. A medical power of attorney gives a person you choose authority to make decisions on your behalf if you are not able to. Making a living will is free for residents of the US states of Vermont and Washington.

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    Benefits of Young People Making Living Wills

    If you are wondering about the benefits of living wills for young people, you will find your answer here. As in the Terri Schiavo case, family members can often disagree on using or continuing with artificial life support when a person becomes incapacitated. Having your end of life wishes legally documented in the event of severe brain damage or other instances of incapacitations can eliminate any lengthy court battles regarding your fate. Creating a living will can bring the peace of mind of knowing that your wishes will be carried out. This also saves a loved one from having to make these difficult decisions without being able to consult you.

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    References

    US Living Wills, http://liv-will1.uslivingwillregistry.com/state.html

    Legal Zoom Living Wills, http://www.legalzoom.com/planning-your-estate/living-wills

    Image Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Mrinkk