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Is a Living Will Right for Your Family?

On Behalf of | Oct 4, 2016 | Estate Planning And Probate |

Thinking about the end of your life – and what comes after – is never easy. It’s also a difficult topic to broach with those that you love the most. However, it is one of the most important conversations that you can have. Communicating your needs and desires for your end of life care as well as your wishes for after your death provides your family with the confidence they need in order to make those important decisions when the time comes. While a conversation is a great place to start, it’s not legally binding. An experienced attorney at an estate planning law firm can help you create a living will, as this is an effective way to express your desires as well as a legally binding document that will ensure your wishes are met.

What is a Living Will?

A living will is an advanced directive document created with an estate planning attorney in order to provide your family with information on the decisions that should be made about your end of life medical treatment, in the event you are unable to make those decisions for yourself. You may provide information within the living will about what decisions should be made in different scenarios, in order to ensure there is complete clarity during that time. Your living will only becomes effective once you are unconscious or unable to make medical decisions on your own.

What are the benefits of creating a living will?

There are many advantages to working with an estate planning law firm in order to create a living will. Here’s a few reasons to consider: 

  • Control over important medical decisions that will be made at the end of your life. This is your opportunity to specify exactly what you want to happen.
  • Prevent quarrels between family members, and can even prevent legal disputes for your family members down the line.
  • An opportunity to discuss your plans and your desires with your family members in advance. If they have questions or concerns, they can discuss them with you, and you in turn can explain the reasoning behind your decisions.
  • Provide your loved ones the peace of mind they need once you are gone. After your death, they will not be consumed with guilt or worry that they did not make the right choices.

Are there disadvantages to having a living will?

There are a few disadvantages to consider when creating a living will. First and foremost, your living will is not legally binding if the people you trust the most are not informed of it. You need to provide them with a copy so they can make the right decisions with your medical care providers. In addition, you need to keep the document updated. Your choices when you are in your 50s may be different from the decisions you would make in your 70s. Continue to work with your attorney in order to update the document as you age.

Why should you work with an estate planning attorney to create a living will?

An estate planning attorney can provide you with the information you need, relative to Michigan laws. The forms vary by state, so it’s important to work with a Detroit area estate planning expert. In addition, your attorney will make sure you have every concern addressed. 

If you decide a living will is the best option for you and your family, be clear with  your loved ones. Your spouse and your children should be aware of what you have written and where you keep the document. Making several copies to give to various family members is a good idea. If something unexpected were to happen and they did not have access to the document, there could be confusion and distress during an already difficult time.

By working with an estate planning law firm in Detroit that specializes in living wills, you will be able to create a powerful document that expresses your own personal desires for your end of life care.


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