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Things you need to know about a living will

Have you created a will or trust? Are you under the impression that this is all you need in order to have a comprehensive estate plan?

While there is no legal requirement to create a living will, it's something to consider nonetheless. Once you learn more about this document, you may come to find that it's exactly what you need to give yourself, as well as your family, peace of mind.

A living will is a legal document that outlines your desires regarding the type of medical treatment you want to receive if you are unable to communicate instructions to your health care team.

What should your living will cover?

Many people assume that a living will only comes into play if they want to direct a health care provider to withhold some type of treatment, such as the use of a machine to keep them alive.

While it's possible to leave this type of instruction in your living will, you can touch on all types of treatment and medical strategies.

Who is your attorney-in-fact?

It's one thing to create a living will, but another thing entirely to name an attorney-in-fact whom you can trust to make the right decisions at the right time.

This must be a person you can depend on, unconditionally. It should also be a person who is comfortable making key medical decisions, as they may need to have a conversation with doctors or family members in regard to treatment.

If you have any reason to believe that a person will not make a good attorney-in-fact, you should continue your search. Making a poor decision now could lead to more trouble than you can imagine down the road.

When creating an estate plan, you need to pay close attention to all the legal documents that could provide you and your family with peace of mind in the future. A living will definitely fits into this category.

If you're interested in creating a living will take the time to learn more about what you can and can't include. Also, learn more about the legal process for creating this type of document, as you don't want to make any mistakes.

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