You may be worried that if you have and use a living will that your life insurance won’t pay; no worries. Honoring a living will does NOT affect life insurance payouts in any way, but it’s a good question to ask. Here are the answers to several other common living will related questions.
What is a Living Will?
A living will is an advanced medical directive, meaning that you make a medical decision in advance, to take affect later, in a particular situation. Living wills are effective if the person who signed the living will is in an irreversible coma or persistent vegetative state. Bottom line is that the person is “dead” and would only be kept alive with life support machines or the artificial feeding of food and water.
What is Not Covered by a Living Will?
No living will or other health care document authorize mercy killing, euthanasia, or assisted suicide.
Do I Really Need to Put it in Writing?
Thinking about a living will and its application is uncomfortable for everyone. No one likes to think about death, dying, and disability. But, it’s a necessary thought process and conversation. Your living will serves as clear and convincing evidence of your intent.
If you’re not convinced, consider the case of Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman, who was kept alive, artificially, for 15 years because, while she told her husband she didn’t want to be hooked up to machines, she never put it in writing. When her husband tried to have life support measures discontinued, Terri’s parents intervened and went to court.
Both life insurance and living wills are found in most estate plans. The payout of your life insurance is in no way affected by the application of a living will. If you don’t have a living will in place, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.