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Living Will Forms: How To Deal With Them

Deciding to make a living will is one story; completing a living will form is another. Fortunately, living will forms are now standardized, and although they differ from state to state, most of the content is the same. Therefore, wherever the living will form comes from, filling it out is manageable.

Following are some of the tips for handling living forms. Carefully observe them when making your living will.

1. Read and understand the content. If, however, you find it hard to understand some of the terms, especially the medical terms, look for someone who can clearly explain them to you. You can contact a friend or a relative who has already done a living will, someone from the state health department, or a lawyer. The thing is, do not interpret them on your own. Remember, a living will involves serious medical decisions. And making bad decisions due to misinterpretation is not a happy thought. Of course, you can revoke or make revisions in the existing living will, but what if it is too late?

2. Understand that because living wills are state-specific, some states may not honor living wills done in other states. This, therefore, necessitates making another living will in case of relocation. The only exception is when the provisions in the state where the living will was made are aligned with the ones in the present state location.

3. Draft a personal living will in addition to the state-recommended living will form if your form does not cover some areas of your concern or if you desire to add other details. Only make sure to write in a clear manner, as ambiguous statements can be subject to misinterpretation. Check for spelling and grammar errors, which if left uncorrected, may change what you have originally intended to mean. Proofread if you must. However, if making your own personal living will can be a bit of a problem, you can choose to have a lawyer to draft it for you.

4. Check the laws existing in your state regarding living wills. This way, you will be more aware of the policies and limitations of living wills. Do not just fill out the form. If the form is executed outside the requisites of the state laws, it might be considered invalid.

5. Appoint a health care proxy if the living will form requires you to. This should be a person who knows you well, has the ability to uphold your medical wishes no matter what, and can anticipate the medical decisions you would make if you are capable to. Although a spouse, kid, or parent is a good choice, any of them may decide based on emotions. And this can potentially jeopardize your wishes. It is much better to choose someone who will less likely become emotional and will remain strong and objective all throughout. It can be your best friend or a cousin.

Though completing a living will form is relatively easy, it is sometimes depressing. After all, it is all about preparing for end-of-life situations. But donít let the idea of death defeat you. Living will forms should give you a realistic view of any possibility.


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