Living wills are great conceptually, but can be vague when actually needed. Some advisors propose making them more detailed and walking people through a lengthy series of questions about specific situations. Because this topic makes clients squeamish on a good day, and because clients’ wishes about death change as it becomes more imminent, people either would not complete a living will or it would not reflect their current wishes. The proposed solution is no solution.
Instead, I recommend executing a health care power of attorney in addition to the living will. The health care power of attorney allows a family member to make decisions for the incapacitated client. After executing the health care power of attorney, it is imperative to discuss wishes with the designee. Of course, with Obamacare’s “death panels,” perhaps this will all be moot.