Estate planning is something that too many people procrastinate about. Even those who may have taken the usual step of creating a last will may not have more comprehensive plans in place yet. They may hold off on making decisions beyond how to allocate certain property.
Unfortunately, the longer you wait, the more you might need the protection of a more comprehensive estate plan and not have it in place. Whether you already have a last will or not, you may want to think about creating a living will for yourself as well.
A living will takes effect while you are still alive
Unlike a last will, which outlines your wishes for after your death, a living will is a record of your preferences in case you wind up in a situation where you can’t communicate them to others. Suffering a head injury that results in a coma or experiencing a stroke that permanently diminishes your cognitive capacity are both situations where a living will would protect you.
A living well can include an advance medical directive that explains your medical wishes and power of attorney documents that give other people the authority to make medical decisions or complete financial transactions on your behalf. In other words, a living will ensures you get the care that you need and will allow other people to handle your affairs when you can’t take care of them for yourself.
Considering everything from your financial circumstances and family relationships to your religion and medical wishes can give you an idea of what terms to include in your living will. Discussing your needs with a lawyer can be the first step toward maximizing your protection in the event that you wind up incapacitated.