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Living Will or Health Care Directives

Make the difficult choices now.

A living will designates what medical procedures a client wishes to be subjected to in the event of a terminal and permanent condition. Making these difficult choices early on saves a client’s family from having to make, and potentially fight over, those decisions in the future. Having an effective living will in place ensures that a client’s wishes are apparent and upheld if such a situation arises.

living will, also called a directive to physicians or advance directive, is a document that lets people state their wishes for end-of-life medical care, in case they become unable to communicate their decisions. It has no power after death.

A living will, despite its name, isn't at all like the wills that people use to leave property at their death. A living will, also called a directive to physicians or advance directive, is a document that lets people state their wishes for end-of-life medical care, in case they become unable to communicate their decisions. It has no power after death.

If you’re helping someone with their estate planning (or doing your own), don’t overlook a living will. It can give invaluable guidance to family members and healthcare professionals if a person can’t express his or her wishes. Without a document expressing those wishes, family members and doctors are left to guess what a seriously ill person would prefer in terms of treatment. They may end up in painful disputes, which occasionally make it all the way to a courtroom.

How to Create a Living Will

The requirements for a living will vary by state so many people hire a lawyer to prepare their living will. Most people can create this simple document - along with the other typical estate planning documents - without the high legal fees by using a quality software application that accounts for their state's laws. If you need to write or update a will or trust, you can take care of your living will at the same time.

Let’s Get Started on a Plan

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