There is nothing more certain in life than the simple fact that we were born and we will one day die. Yet, while birth is celebrated as much as any occasion in life, death is viewed as something you should never talk about and many people absolutely refuse to plan for it. This is especially true for today’s aging population who were taught to ignore death when they were growing up. As a result of this, often times it leaves some extremely stressful and agonizing choices for the dying person’s loved ones, who are already suffering having to watch their loved one slip away. A couple hours of deep thought and a trip to see your lawyer about a Living Will would not only make it easier on the ones you are leaving behind, but also let you be the one who decides how your last few days will play out.
I just recently read the story of a dying World War II veteran who was alive after surviving three strokes, vegetative but still technically alive. They were asking his wife to make a choice and none of the options were great. In an already difficult time they were now asking her basically which way her husband should die, because no matter what they did death was inevitable. She made the most difficult choice and chose to comfort him as much as possible but to stop any other treatment, but it was a choice for her that no doubt will leave her wondering if she had done the right thing and possibly feeling guilty because of that. A Living Will would have taken that ultra-tough decision out of her hands and put it in her husband’s, where it belonged. Guilt is nothing anyone should ever have to carry around, especially when a signature on a carefully thought out legal document would prevent it from ever happening. Simple, yet so few do it.
Death is coming for us all, we don’t have a choice in that matter; but we do have a choice in how it all ends and that choice will save your loved ones from an even heavier burden in an already difficult time. The next time you take that long hot shower to relax or sit down in one of your favorite places, take some time to think about a Living Will seriously. After that go see your lawyer and get it done legally on paper. You will not only feel better about having that unpleasant chore out of the way, but you will also have the peace of mind that sometime down the road you will have done a truly wonderful thing for your family.
Heidi Webb is an Attorney practicing in the Daytona Beach area. She serves clients from all of Volusia & Flagler Counties, as well as across the State of Florida. She focuses her practice on Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Probate & Small Business matters. Contact her today for a free consultation.