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When it comes to your estate planning, who do you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf should you be unable to make them for yourself? How do you choose the right decision maker for you? What type of end-of-life care do you wish to receive? How long would you prefer to receive treatment for? If you do not have an answer to these questions right now, it is time to start thinking about them.

No matter what stage in life you are at, a living will can help you outline your end-of-life care and critical medical decisions. A living will, which can be part of your health care advance directives, is a legal document that details the medical treatment you wish to receive if you are unable to communicate your wishes. A living will is different from other health care estate planning tools in that it is designed to express your wishes should you suffer from a terminal illness or persistent vegetative state from which you are expected not to recover from.

Our goal is to educate you on all of the estate planning alternatives available to you. Let us share the top three reasons why you should consider creating a living will.

1. Provide your loved ones with peace of mind.

Serious accidents and illnesses can place your loved ones in a state of emotional limbo. Although there is likely nothing that will ease their concerns, leaving a detailed set of instructions for your loved ones to follow may alleviate some of their stress. While under your estate planning healthcare documents you may appoint a person with legal authority to make important medical decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so yourself.  Do not wait for a crisis to take this step as it may be too late. Start now and work with your estate planning attorney to appoint someone you trust for this role.

2. Outline your end-of-life care to your loved ones.

End-of-life choices can be very difficult to make, especially for your family that loves you. While it may not seem like it at first, making decisions such as when to remove life sustaining procedures or what extraordinary measures you do not want taken can be a gift for your loved ones.  When you provide as detailed instructions as possible, you can be assured you have removed a burden from your loved ones and that they will not have any unnecessary treatments during emergency or end-of-life care administered.

3. Remain in control for as long as possible.

As the creator of your estate plan, you remain in control of the provisions of your living will until you are incapacitated and unable to act. This means that at any point, you can update or change the provisions of any of your estate planning documents, including your living will. You also have the power to terminate any of your documents at any point or revise them to name new decision makers to care for you.

We encourage you to think through your estate planning needs very carefully. Remember, we are here to support you in your decisions. These are just several reasons why a living will may be the right choice to include in your estate plan. Do not hesitate to contact our law firm and schedule a meeting with us to discuss your estate planning questions.