In a world where many advertisements discuss the benefits of “do it yourself” estate planning, it’s tempting to think that a living will is an easy document you can create on your own. While there are no laws stating that you cannot make a living will yourself, there are several good reasons why you might be better off having a knowledgeable attorney make one for you.
What is a Living Will?
A living will might also be referred to as a health care directive. It is not the same thing as a traditional will, where you would outline how you want your property or assets divided among your loved ones.
Instead, a living will explains what kind of medical care, if any, you want to receive if you become incapacitated and are no longer able to make these critical decisions for yourself.
Are You Using the Correct Verbiage?
It is not a good idea to use a generic form for your health care directive. With such important matters on the line with this document, having it be legally inaccurate could cause tension, confusion, and legal issues for your loved ones. The document needs to be properly and clearly written.
Don’t let your family members discover too late that your document is unclear or does not follow the laws of your state. This can lead to serious issues, so make sure that you hire the right estate-planning attorney to help draft your living will.
Are You Making This Big Mistake?
A big mistake is printing a generic living will and assuming that you only need to sign it and file it away in order for things to be complete. Your loved ones might find out down the road that this is not legally valid. You could be jeopardizing your wishes being properly carried out in the future. Sadly, many people never even realize they made a mistake…
Do You Need an Estate-Planning Attorney?
When your loved ones are grappling with your incapacitate, they have enough on their mind. Don’t add to the frustration by forcing them to try and figure out what you wanted. It could lead to fights within your family during an already difficult time. Make sure you consider the benefits of doing the living will right the first time. This means having signatures from witnesses or having it notarized.
The good news is that working with an estate-planning attorney gives you the opportunity to do just that. Then you can rest assured knowing that your document is legally accurate and properly outlines what you actually want.
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