What is a Living Will?

March 22, 2017
Estate Planning with a Living Will
A living will, which is often called a health care directive or advance directive is a legal document that provides the security that your end-of-life medical care will be what you want.  Contrary to the name, a living will is not similar to other documents which leave property at the time of your life.  A living will simply will direct medical professionals what your wishes are at the end of your life if you are unable to communicate.  Therefore, a living will have no power once you are deceased. 
Creating a Living Will
Based on your state, it is important to consult a licensed estate planning attorney to help you with a living will to ensure all requirements are met.  Furthermore, creating a living will is fairly easy, and it can often be accomplished without high legal fees, and can be tied into existing estate planning documents.
Some types of requests that are part of a living will state that advance directives such as palliative care (decreases pain and suffering) to be administered.  Likewise, many individuals state in his or her living will that they do not wish CPR to be preformed on them unless certain circumstances. 
Once a living will is drawn up, depending on the state, it is often notarized or signed by witnesses.  Furthermore, it is important to understand that a living will can be revoked at any time, however, it is effective from the moment it is signed. 
Lastly, living wills are often a document used as a durable power of attorney in many states which appoints someone to carry out end-of-life decisions which are noted in the document.  Additionally, once your life has ended, the living will has ended unless it is noted that the power of attorney gives authority to organ donation or an autopsy. 
End-of-life decisions is something no one wants to think about, but unfortunately it is a fact of life that everyone must deal with at some point.  It pays to be organized so your wishes are fulfilled, and help from a skilled Granite City estate planning attorney such as Deborah Besserman will make the process easier.  Please contact Besserman Law Office today for a free consultation regarding your estate planning process.  

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