ARTICLE: How Does a Living Will Fit Into Your Estate Plan?

How Does a Living Will Fit Into Your Estate Plan?

When was the last time you thought about the end of your life? What if you did not come home tonight? Do you how you want your affairs managed toward the end of your life or in a sudden crisis? What instructions would you give your friends and family to follow in the event of an emergency?

For many of us, these are thoughts that has rarely crossed our minds. As difficult as it can be to think about, it is critical to prepare for all unanticipated circumstances ahead of time. You do not want to gamble on your future, or your family’s future. Establishing an estate plan that outlines your wishes before a serious accident or medical emergency occurs can ensure your end-of-life care wishes are known to your loved ones, providing you all with peace of mind.

A living will, also known as an advance directive, is one planning option that can allow you to effectively outline your end-of-life medical care wishes. This document is used by loved ones and medical professionals as a guide to help make medical decisions when you are in an end-of-life condition, persistent vegetative state, or end stage condition, and may be unable to make those decisions for yourself.

Creating a living will is just one option available to help you organize your end-of-life care wants and needs. It is a part of a thorough estate plan. Let us share with you a few of the reasons why a living will may be a good fit for your specific estate planning needs.

1. A living can ease the stress of your loved ones.

One of the primary benefits of creating a living will is the peace of mind it provides your loved ones. Serious accidents and unforeseen illnesses are emotionally taxing. Leaving your close family members and friends with a detailed set of instructions outlining the types of medical treatments you wish to receive, and how long you wish treatment to continue for can help ease their burden.

2. A living will provides you with control and flexibility.

When it comes to estate planning, many of our clients tell us they look for an option that allows them as much control and flexibility as possible. By appointing a close friend or family member as your health care decision maker, you will feel more comfortable knowing someone you trust will be making the important medical decisions for you. Upon creation of a living will, you retain the power to update, add, or remove any provisions in the document, depending on how your wishes may change. If necessary, the living will may be revoked and updated with entirely new provisions.

3. A living will prevents unnecessary medical treatment.

It can be challenging to place your end-of-life care and decision making in the hands of family and medical professionals. With a living will in place, the doctors in charge of your care have clear provisions to follow that are listed in the document. You can choose to be as specific or as broad as you like when creating the instructions, which your estate planning attorney can help you identify and select.

We understand there are many planning options to consider. Remember, we are here to be a resource for you and help guide you through the planning process. Are you ready to discuss your planning options? Do not hesitate to contact our firm and schedule a meeting.

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We at Roth Elder Law, PLLC, believe in providing services in a way that clients can easily understand and meaningfully participate in designing and maintaining their estate plan for their loved ones, as well as be assured that their plan will be administered according to their wishes.