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What is a living will?

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2020 | Estate Planning & Probate

As complicated as our financial lives are in the modern era, it is no surprise that estate planning is becoming more and more of a necessity. However, it is not just for financial reasons that you need to be considering estate planning in Pennsylvania. People are living longer than ever thanks to modern medicine, but this extended lifespan also requires additional planning. Due to this, living wills are becoming more popular. According to US News & World Report, a living will is a legal document that sets out your end-of-life wishes where healthcare is concerned.

A living will essentially dictates what you wish to have happen in the event that you are incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions at the time. For instance, if you suffer a stroke and are put on life support, a living will will dictate what decisions your family will make regarding your care. For instance, many people have strong feelings about life support either one way or the other. Having a living will ensures that your conscious wishes are respected.

Another benefit to a living will is that it takes the onus of decision making off of your loved ones. It is highly likely that if you are incapacitated either by a sudden event or do to a degenerative disease like Alzheimer’s, your family will already be in an emotionally difficult situation. Sometimes, it is easier to simply follow directions. A living will can also involve decisions about tissue or organ donation. You may also wish to use a living will to designate a healthcare proxy if you believe that somebody would make good decisions for you in your stead and you wish to give them authority depending on the situation.