If I Don’t Make a Living Will, What Happens? Planning for Incapacity

June 12, 2020

If you don’t make a living will, state law will intervene to determine how decisions regarding your end of life medical treatment are made. In most instances, the responsibility for making these decisions will fall to your family who will invariably be guided by medical personnel and not necessarily your wishes.

Of course, because you have not stated what life sustaining medical treatments you want or don’t want in a living will, your family will have no real ‘road map’ to follow when making decisions for you.

In these circumstances, family members could easily come to an impasse in terms of the treatment you are to receive or not receive, as the case may be. This impasse may well escalate to a court battle to resolve the issue. Indeed, this is exactly what happened in the famous Terri Schiavo case which received nationally media attention some years ago.

All of these possible problems and disagreements could be avoided by stating your wishes clearly in a living will. A living will sets out the life sustaining treatments you want and don’t want, whether that’s nutrition and hydration, blood transfusions, surgery, organ transfers and so on. Better still, your attending medical teams are ordinarily legally obliged to follow the instructions you have set out in your living will.

By making these choices in advance, you reduce the likelihood of family disputes, as well as the possibility of receiving medical treatments you would not want to receive.

How Can We Help You? 

For more information on living wills, you can read some of the other articles on our website.

Alternatively, EstateBee offers a number of different ways of helping you make a living will. Our must popular option is our Online Living Will Software, which guides you step-by-step through the process of preparing your document. Help and explanations are available at every step of the process, and our customer service team will be on hand to answer any questions you have.

For those who prefer template fill-in-the-blank forms, we also offer a template Living Will Form which has been drafted by our estate planning lawyers to comply with the laws in each state. The form comes complete with clear instructions on how to correctly complete and execute your living will.

If, on the other hand, you would like to read into living wills a little more in-depth before making one, then our Healthcare Power of Attorney & Living Will Kit.  is probably for you. It contains all the information and ready-to-use lawyer prepared legal forms and documents necessary to create a combined Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Will. It also contains all the forms necessary to revoke any document you make.

For more information on our products, please feel free to contact our customer service team.

EstateBee Contributor - Diana Cook

Diana Cook

Diana is a freelance writer that has written extensively in the areas of finance, financial planning and estate planning.

EstateBee Contributor - Diana Cook

Diana Cook

Freelance Writer

Diana is a freelance writer that has written extensively in the areas of finance, financial planning and estate planning.

Leave a comment

Lets chat!