You have a deep and protective sense of love toward your family members, including your children and your spouse. That bond makes you want to do right by them and makes them want to do right by you.

If something tragic happens to you and you die, you have probably taken steps to leave behind resources to provide for the people that you care about the most. Unfortunately, the fact that you have such a close bond to your family could wind up undermining your planned legacy and potentially leave your family members at a disadvantage.

If you haven’t created a living will with an advance medical directive that talks about your medical preferences, the legacy that you expect to leave behind for your family could wind up consumed by unnecessary medical expenses that your family feels responsible to incur on your behalf.

Without direct advice, your family will probably get as much care as possible

When you love someone, you want to hope that no matter what happens, they can remain a part of your life. The more resources you leave behind, the easier it may be for your loved ones to grasp at straws after a medical emergency or accident.

There are intensive forms of medical intervention that could keep you alive even if you can’t breathe, eat or regulate your own body temperature. Your family members could decide to keep you on life support for several weeks or even month at a cost of as much as $10,000 a day if you don’t leave them clear directions about your preferences. They may feel compelled to do so if they aren’t sure what you would want.

Many people feel strongly about life support, often desiring these medical services in situations where recovery is possible while expecting that their loved ones would stop the care in a situation involving brain death or without hope of recovery.

Committing all of these kinds of preferences to a written medical directive will eliminate the pressure on your loved ones to make decisions on your behalf and ensure that the legacy you leave behind doesn’t wind up needlessly consumed by end-of-life care when recovery was already an impossibility.