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The attorneys of Daughtry, Woodard, Lawrence, & Starling

What should you know about living wills?

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2021 | Estate Planning

Proper estate planning protects the assets you worked so hard for during your life. Living wills are a crucial part of estate plans and actually protect you while you are still alive.

These legally binding documents specify what kind of medical treatment you prefer after a terminal illness or injury. Here are a few key points to keep in mind when developing your estate plan.

What should you include in your living will?

Most living wills contain details on life-preserving treatments. You can specify whether you want CPR, artificial methods of breathing, and tube-feeding should the need arise. You can also specify the type of palliative care you prefer, which provides comfort to patients but does not extend their lives. Providing a lot of details ensures there is no confusion or misunderstanding.

Who needs a living will?

Everyone should have a living will in place. Without one, your family must make difficult decisions regarding end-of-life care if you are unable to do so yourself. In addition to the emotional turmoil this causes, it may also prevent you from receiving the care you desire. Many people also name a health care power of attorney to advocate to family and medical staff. This person can communicate the information within your living will directly to others, while also asking questions as needed.

Do you also require a living trust?

Living wills deal with health matters, while living trusts are a way to provide assets to heirs after you are gone. You may choose a living trust if you wish to pass assets to heirs without going through probate court, which is the case when you include assets in a last will and testament.

Even if you are young and in good health, it is never too early to develop a comprehensive living will. If you would like more information about the process, please contact our firm today.