There will come a time in a person’s life when death is inevitable. For most, it will happen in old age after they have lived a long and happy life. Others, however, may find themselves approaching the end of their lives sooner.
Despite the advancements in the medical field, there are still illnesses that remain incurable. Those who are diagnosed later, after their disease has progressed, see their chances of survival shrink. They may receive bad news. Although treatments can extend their lives, they have a low chance of living out a normal life span.
With this in mind, it’s crucial to plan for the end of one’s life by creating a will that outlines how you want them handled. A will is a legal document that one’s wishes for after their death. This includes financial assets as well as personal items such as books or cars and other preferences when it comes to end-of-life treatments, burial preferences, and other arrangements.
As anyone who has experienced an ill family member or friend can attest, knowing what decisions they would have made it difficult when they’re unable to express themselves. A will can aid in this process and avoid difficult situations if they were not able to speak before.
What should you consider when drafting a will for a terminally ill person?
What Types of Treatments Do They Want?
What is your family member’s current condition? If they are not in pain or suffering, chances are that they would want to be admitted to a hospice and receive palliative care. This type of treatment focuses on reducing the discomfort associated with illness and can be beneficial for patients who wish to stay active despite their condition. It allows them to enjoy life without doing anything too strenuous.
Palliative care can extend a terminally ill person’s life by several months to years if administered properly. Although it does not cure an individual of their disease, it keeps them comfortable until death occurs naturally.
However, if the patient had an earlier prognosis that indicated that they were unlikely to live more than two weeks, then do-not-resuscitate orders should be set in place. These orders make it clear to medical professionals that the individual wishes not to be resuscitated if they stop breathing or their heart stops beating. This can be done with a living will, which is legally binding once signed by two witnesses.
What to Do with Their Assets?
First, decide what to do with all of the things they own. If they have particular people in mind, make sure they are named in the will.
Do they want to donate my assets? Which family members should get what? If they don’t want their family to get anything, where should it go?
Not everyone wants their children or other family members to inherit their estate when they are gone for whatever reasons. Some, for example, think that their children are not old enough to take over the estate, or they think that it is selfish to leave their property behind for them when there are people who need it more.
They can name a charity or another organization instead. This means that the money goes to the place they want it to, not who they think will best use it.
Will Their Body Be Used for Medical Research?
Some people, especially those who have a rare illness, choose to donate their bodies for medical research in the hopes that, even in death, they can help find effective treatments and cures one day.
If the patient wishes to donate their body, be sure that it is specified in the will. It’s also important to discuss this with family members so that their wishes are known as well. This could avoid any confusion if they were not able to speak before you make these decisions.
What About Burial Options?
Include this if you have a specific religion that has certain requirements when dealing with funerals. This can be useful when trying to plan around a loved one’s schedule and activities.
Include a notary or executor that can deal with the paperwork and legal aspects of the will after death. They must be trustworthy and capable of following through to make sure things are set in place, especially if there’s no family member who could step up for this role.
Keeping these tips in mind when writing out a will for someone who is terminally ill can be very beneficial to your family. Any you have questions about the process, contact an attorney who’s experienced in this area. They’ll be able to help with every aspect of this, from making sure it’s done right to providing information on any relevant laws that could affect it.