A living will is a crucial estate planning document. This document can help people of any adult age let their wishes be know if they were to become incapacitated or unable to make decisions for themselves. This is different from a will or trust in the fact that it acts while the person is still living. It would instruct family and doctors on what to do during certain medical situations. Would a person like to have life-sustaining or saving measures performed on them if their heart stops or they stop breathing.
According to a recent study, 61 percent of U.S. adults don't have these crucial documents. Even for people who are single, or those who have already told their family what they would want done in these tough situations, it can have a reassuring effect.
Sometimes when families are put in very stressful situations, people might second guess what their loved one would want. Their might also be disagreement among family members as to what to do. Having a living will can help a family have confidence that they are making the right decision for a loved one.
Living wills can sometimes be difficult for people to discuss. It isn't a simple topic, but in addition to having a living will, people may want to discuss their wishes with their family. An experienced estate planning attorney can help a person understand and prepare these crucial documents. They may also be able to provide advice on how to facilitate an estate planning discussion with family members.
Source: UPI, "61% of U.S. adults have no living will," Feb. 10, 2013
-Our law firm handles living wills for people in New Jersey. Please visit our website to learn more.