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Should you update your estate plan to include a living will?

You may take pride in choosing to prepare for situations that are possible, even if you do not know whether they may actually come to fruition. Feeling prepared and having a plan may allow you to feel less stress in your life, especially when those plans prevent your loved ones from finding themselves in a difficult predicament. When it comes to knowing your end-of-life wishes, you may want to ensure that your loved ones have the information they need.

As part of your estate plan, you may want to include instructions on how your care should be handled in the event that you cannot express your wishes at the time the need for care presents itself. Luckily, a living will could help you detail your instructions for this type of scenario, and though you may never need to use it, having it in place could allow you to feel more certain that your family will not have to make difficult decisions regarding your care on their own.

Living Will vs. Last Will and Testament

When many people think of a will, they tend to think of a person's Last Will and Testament. This standard will generally provide information on how property distribution could take place after a person's death. However, a living will differs considerably from a standard will. With a living will, you can detail information regarding your care while you are still alive. Numerous people only think that estate plans come into effect after a person passes, but that is not necessarily the case.

Living will instructions

You can include different types of information in regards to health care in your living will. Individuals with limited knowledge about this document may think its only use relates to whether a person should or should not remain on life support. While you can certainly include information on how you want that type of scenario handled, you can also detail the specific treatments and procedures you want attempted in the event that you face a potentially terminal situation, such as a prolonged coma or other incapacitation.

Your living will can also include information on what treatments you do not want to undergo. Additionally, you can make your document as detailed and specific as you wish, or you may simply appoint someone to make the decisions he or she feels best suit the circumstances at the time.

Including a living will

If you have already created an estate plan and did not include a living will, you can take the time to update your plan to include this document. Speaking with your estate planning attorney could help you ensure you include the right information and make your wishes properly known.

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