What is a living will?

What is a living will?

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2022 | Estate Planning |

A living will should be a part of your essential estate planning documents. Without it, you cannot ensure your loved ones will know how to carry out your medical wishes if you cannot. According to the U.S. News, a living will is beneficial to people of all ages and health statuses.

A living will communicates your desire for medical treatment if you cannot express yourself.

What to include in your living will

When you draft a living will, you can be as detailed as you want. If you have desires for specific treatments, include them. For example, some people detail whether they want artificial hydration or breathing. Others may have strong religious beliefs that prevent medical procedures. If you want to donate your organs or donate yourself to science, you can also include this in your living will. If you want to prolong your life by any means necessary, you can include that as well.

Generally, people may include a healthcare proxy in the living will. The healthcare proxy expresses who you want to make medical decisions for you. Your proxy speaks to doctors and other medical care providers.

Where to distribute your living will

You have to distribute your living will to ensure others follow it when it comes to your living will. Sign it and execute it before you distribute it to others. Give a copy of your living will to your doctor, durable power of attorney and healthcare proxy. Make sure to keep one copy safe at home.

Your living will is not a last will or testament. Your living will does not address your assets or beneficiaries.