Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

A “living will” lets you say when and how you want life-supporting measures to stop. It is just one part of a complete estate plan, but it tells your loved ones and doctors how to take care of you after you die.

Making a living will makes you and your family think about what is important and what you value. As you age, they will change, and the steps you take to keep your quality of life high.

We all want to live as long as we can, and if we can get better, we want our loved ones to take the best care of us. But a living will is important because many people spend their last days on earth helpless, confused, or in pain.

Many people do not want their loved ones to spend money on heroic efforts that could make their pain last longer.

What Is A Living Will?

A living will, also called an advance directive, says how a person wants to be treated medically if they cannot speak for themselves.

A living will decide if a patient who is dying or seriously hurt needs care to keep them alive. For example, breathing machines or tubes that feed the person.

Without a living will, medical decisions must be made by the spouse, family, or other people named in the will. Either they need to know what the patient wants, or they want to follow simple verbal instructions from the patient.

How Does A Estate Planning Lawyer Help?

It is essential to include a living will in your estate plan in case you become ill and want your loved ones to know how you should be treated.

The popularity of do-it-yourself tools for estate planning shows that we all need one. You might make mistakes and spend more money if you do not have an attorney. A estate planning lawyer can  draft a clear document stating your preferences for medical treatment if you are unable to speak for yourself. The words you use in your papers must match your goal.

If your legal documents are unclear, the law will probably give a default answer that may not match what you meant. If you hire an attorney to make these agreements, your wishes will be made clear, and the law’s default conclusion will not be able to override them.

List Of Items To Consider When Making An Estate Plan

  • In a will, you list the people you want to get certain things and money after you die. Everything you own, whether physical, like your house, or not, like your savings and investments.
  • Beneficiaries are the people who will get what you own in the end. They could be members of your immediate or extended family, close friends, or a charity working for a cause that is important to you.
  • Like a will, a revocable living trust is a legal document that lets the grantor decide how their assets will be shared after death. With a revocable living trust, you can give your assets to someone else but keep the right to use and control them. Before your revocable living trust takes effect, you need to write it up, sign it, and have it notarized. You will say in it who will be in charge of the trust when you are not there.
  • When you die, your assets must go through probate before your beneficiaries can get them. But some of your property may be able to skip probate and go right to your heirs. A 401(k), a pension, and a life insurance policy do not have to go through probate.
  • An advance healthcare directive can say what you want when you cannot decide for yourself about your health care. Most of the time, an AHCD includes a living will and a medical power of attorney.
  • A power of attorney for finances lets someone else take care of your money and property. Bill payments, moving money, and property management are all examples of these errands.
  • Whether for life, health, auto, or home insurance, keeping all the paperwork in one place is wise. You should also keep track of your bank accounts and the information you need to get into them. Savings accounts, checking accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans, 401(k)s, and IRAs are all types of financial assets.
  • Get deeds and titles to your property to prove that you legally own it. Homes, cars, and other vehicles are examples of real property. With a revocable living trust, the only way to avoid probate is to give all your assets to the trust while you are still alive. It would be best if you changed all of your legal papers to say that the property is legally owned by faith.
  • Most people under 70 years old have more than 160 online profiles. Using a digital safe or password manager, you can keep track of all your passwords. One of these services may store all your online accounts’ logins and passwords.
  • With this document, your loved ones will know how you want to be buried after you die. You can also ask for specific readings or donations to a charity in memory of a person.

The Significance Of A Living Will In Estate Planning

  1. Safeguards You When All Other Forms Of Contact Have Failed

The best thing about a living will is that it protects your wishes if you can no longer say them for yourself. If you were unconscious, your medical team would have a lot of say over how you were treated.

  1. Deny Specific Treatments

In a living will, a person can say what kind of care they do not want if they become sick or hurt. This form can be used to ask for a DNR order, a feeding tube, or other treatments that can save a person’s life. People of all religions use living wills to tell doctors to try to save their lives.

  1. Make It Simple For Your Family To Make Decisions

A living will keeps your loved ones from having to make hard decisions in your place. Even the people closest to you might not know what you really want regarding medical procedures that could save your life. People who make decisions for you without knowing what you wish may have second thoughts about their choices.

  1. Help Your Family Avoid Unwanted Medical Costs

A living will tells doctors what to do if someone is in a coma or a vegetative state. Many people worry about being on life support for 20 years. The cost of keeping them alive would be too much for their loved ones.

If this is not done, your family may have to pay huge amounts for medical care. You should have a living will that says what you want to be done if something like this happens.

  1. Avoid Disputes Among Family Members

Make sure your family knows what kind of medical care you want at the end of your life. Family members do not always agree on how to care for a sick or dying family member. Religion and old promises about how a person wants to be treated can make people see things differently.

  1. It Is Essential To Keep Your Estate’s Finances In Order

When people die, most of them want to leave something behind for their loved ones. But medical debt can quickly wipe out a person’s savings. If you owe tens of thousands of dollars to people who helped pay for your medical care, your family may not get anything from you.

If you discuss your wishes for end-of-life care ahead of time, you could save a lot of money on healthcare costs. It is important if you do not think these strategies would help you stay alive and have a good life.

  1. It Provides You With Peace Of Mind

You will feel happy and satisfied if you can take care of yourself. These are made so you can take charge and stop more bad things from happening. You must know that you and your family will be appropriately cared for during a disaster.

Do not be so lazy that you put your life in the hands of people who are not in your immediate family when you are in trouble. So, now is the perfect time to make a will. It is easy to put off, but doing it is one of the best things you can do.

Final Thoughts

Even though nobody plans to need a living will, it is very important to have one in place. After you and your family have made your healthcare and end-of-life plans, you can relax. Accidents and health problems should make you want to make an estate plan. It will be easy and quick for you to make a living will with the help of a estate planning attorney. 

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