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Russell G. Small

Reasons to consider a living will

Life-altering accidents and infirmities are not conversations that Connecticut residents like to discuss. Unless they are faced with a terminal illness or unless they lose someone close to them, most people would prefer to focus their mind on things like their plans for today or the future. This is why many procrastinate or completely put off creating a living will or a health care directive.

A living will or a health care directive will provide instructions that cover what should be done for people, their estates, and their dependents if something happens and they are no longer able to care for these decisions themselves.

Why is a living will important?

Medical science has changed the way that people think about a living will. Prior to some of the technological advances seen in past several decades, there were a lot of diseases and ailments that were considered fatal. Now, technology makes it possible for people who are dealing with serious illnesses to be kept alive via machines. Their body may be alive, but they may be limited when it comes to movement or brain activity. 

This ability to keep a person living, without brain activity, or to keep the brain functioning without body activity has put the medical community in a dilemma. Health care providers may feel that it is their moral obligation to keep a patient alive at all costs. However, family members may wish to allow loved ones to die if there is no realistic chance of them regaining consciousness.

Considering probate

Situations such as those above create unique issues for conservators of a living will as well as executors of a will, especially in situations where the incapacitated individual has considerable debts and liabilities that need to be managed.

Prolonging life only further prolongs probate court, which is where the process of distributing an estate and paying off debts and liabilities begins.

Seeking help from a legal professional

Preparing a living will can be complicated, but the process of dealing with financial matters and other legal issues after someone becomes incapacitated can be far more challenging, especially for those with only a basic understanding of the law. In situations like this, it’s best to seek help from an attorney who has the experience you need to understand the situation and resolve matters correctly the first time around.

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