Experts Say Planning for End of Life Issues Essential

Sep 7, 2010 - Jenny P.
Experts Say Planning for End of Life Issues Essential

Planning for end-of-life issues and creating a living will can help to control one's medical treatment options, according Lynda Shrager of the Albany Times Union.

While it can be difficult to even think about the end of one's life, it is essential to make the necessary plans in order to ensure that one's last years go according to his or her desire, Shrager points out. As part of these plans, Shrager explains that it is crucial to write a living will, which specifies one's desired treatment in case of incapacitation in addition to a healthcare proxy, who can ultimately make medical decisions based on one's desires.

Shrager also points out that while many people feel that they will have plenty of time to plan for end-of-life issues and create a living will later in life, circumstances can change rapidly and unexpectedly. In addition, Shrager says that creating a living will and planning for one's final years is a "work in progress," as one's values and priorities can change depending on the situation. Thus, she explains that it is important to start the process early and keep information updated.

According to, only 25-40 percent of Americans had a living will as of 2007.