When used with other estate planning documents, a living will can be a crucial aspect of planning ahead for the future. Understanding what’s involved in orchestrating a living will and the various protections afforded to you and your loved ones can help you make informed decisions about the right documents for you.
Basics of A Living Will
A living will is a different document from your last will and testament. Although your last will and testament distributes your property after you pass away, a living will accomplishes different goals.
A living will instead articulates how decisions are made about your medical care at times when you are unable to speak for yourself and while you are still alive. Living wills are triggered in situations in which you are unable to communicate, mentally incompetent or otherwise incapacitated.
While it can be very hard to think about the situations in which you might need a living will, it is far better to contemplate these options now rather than leaving your family members in the difficult situation of disagreeing about your care options or not being sure about your individual wishes.
Any person who is about to have surgery or an individual who has recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness has an urgent need to put together a living will.
Without a living will, your family members might not have the full legal authority to make decisions on your behalf. When putting together a living will, you need to speak directly with an estate planning lawyer to verify that you have used the correct terminology and terms inside this document. If you have recently moved from one state to another, bear in mind that each state has their own legal allowances and requirements for living wills.