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Do you need a living will in your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2022 | Estate Planning |

A will is the most basic of estate planning documents and something that everyone would benefit from creating. The other documents people add to their estate plans are also valuable, but often people perceive them as being less universally necessary.

Living wills are among the documents that most people would benefit from if they understood their function. Why might it make sense for you to include a living will in your estate plan?

It serves as your advance health care directive

Your living will is a document describing your medical wishes in the event of a situation where you can’t speak for yourself, like a coma. If you become unable to make your preferences known to those providing you with care, your living will can help them determine what treatment to provide you.

You can name a health care agent to act on your behalf. This is beneficial but does not replace drafting an actual medical power of attorney. Ensuring that you name the same person or people to act as agent in both documents is important. When created in conjunction with a medical power of attorney that authorizes someone to make medical choices on your behalf, a living will can protect you from medical decisions that violate your personal ethics or your religion.

Drafting a living will is a smart way to protect yourself — especially if you have strong feelings about matters like life support, anatomical gifts or pain medication, Adding supplemental documents to your estate plan can be a way to give yourself peace of mind and provide guidance to the people who love you in an emergency.