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What is a living will, and why is it important to have one?

On Behalf of | May 7, 2023 | PROBATE & ESTATE ADMINISTRATION - Estate Planning

When you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions about your health care, your loved ones will have to do so on your behalf. It is never easy. Everyone may have their preferences on what should happen, and it can cause fallouts among your family members.

A living will can help avoid such a scenario. Here is what you need to know about living wills and why you should consider having one.

How a living will works

A living will, also known as an advance directive, is a legal document that outlines an individual’s preferences regarding their medical treatment if they are unable to communicate their wishes. It allows you to specify what medical treatments you wish to receive when you cannot make such decisions due to incapacitation.

Why you need a living will

The importance of a living will cannot be overstated. Nothing prepares you for incapacitation, but a living will can help plan for the unexpected. First, it will take the burden of making uncomfortable decisions about your health care off family members because you have made your wishes known.

A living will also gives you more control over your medical care. This can help avoid unnecessary medical interventions that do not align with your values or beliefs. You will also have peace of mind knowing that you have the necessary plans in place of mind.

How to make a living will

Like any other legally binding estate planning document, you must fulfill a raft of requirements to ensure that your living will is valid and enforceable. Therefore, having the necessary guidance when creating your living will is advisable to avoid problems that could derail your future plans.