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How useful is a living will to your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Having a well-thought-out estate plan is crucial in a world where the unexpected can strike at any moment. It means planning for things like incapacitation – when you cannot make independent decisions regarding your healthcare due to mental or physical limitations. This is where a living will come into the picture.

A living will is a legal document that articulates your preferences for medical treatment in situations where you may be unable to communicate your wishes. Often, it’s associated with end-of-life decisions, but its significance extends far beyond. Below are some compelling reasons why a living will should be an integral part of your estate plan.

It puts you in control of your healthcare decisions 

A living will gives you the power to make medical decisions while still capable. By expressing your preferences regarding life-sustaining treatments, organ donation and other medical interventions in your living will, you will remain in charge even when disaster strikes and you cannot effectively voice your wishes. It also serves as a safeguard against unwanted medical interventions.

It relieves your loved ones of burdensome choices

Without a living will, your family and loved ones might face the agonizing task of making critical medical decisions on your behalf. You can relieve this emotional burden with a living will, sparing them from potentially divisive disagreements and stress regarding your medical choices.

It provides guidance and direction to healthcare providers 

For healthcare providers, a living will offers valuable guidance. When they know your desires, they can provide care that aligns with your values and preferences, ultimately delivering more patient-centered treatment.

Do not leave important decisions to chance

The importance of a living will in estate planning cannot be overstated. Think of it as a guiding light in the darkest times, ensuring your legacy is carried out per your wishes. Incorporating a living will into your estate plans reassures you that your medical and healthcare decisions will be handled according to your desires during life’s most trying moments.