Like other adults in Ohio who are young and healthy, you may think the need for creating estate planning documents is a long way off. However, even those with no known or otherwise anticipated medical conditions may benefit from establishing a living will.

In the event of a sudden, debilitating injury or the onset of a severe illness, you may be left unable to speak and make decisions for yourself. According to the Mayo Clinic, a living will is a legal document you may use to specify the types of life-saving and life-sustaining medical treatments you would want in such situations.

Living wills may express your preferences regarding the use of treatments such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, tube feeding, dialysis, mechanical ventilation, and the administration of antiviral medications or antibiotics. Your preferences do not have to be black and white. Rather, you may indicate in your living will when you would and would not want certain treatments. For example, you may not want health care professionals to use a defibrillator or CPR if you were in an accident that was likely to leave you in a permanent coma. However, you may want this type of treatment used to stimulate your heart if it stopped beating due to a health condition for which you are receiving treatment and may be cured.

In addition to indicating your desires regarding the use of certain medical treatments, you may also specify your wishes with regard to other important medical decisions in your living will. This includes indicating whether you want to donate your organs, tissues or body after your death. You may also indicate the types of palliative care you would want.

The information in this post should not be taken as legal advice; it is meant only for general use.