What are the benefits of a living will?

Many San Jose area residents have taken the time to create their estate plan. An estate plan is important in ensuring a person’s assets are distributed as they intend upon their death and that their legacy is protected. As part of a comprehensive estate plan, a living will should be included. But what is a living will and why is it important?

A living will is also known as an advanced directive or healthcare directive. It is not a will in the traditional estate planning sense. It is a document that reflects a person’s healthcare wishes should they become incapacitated and unable to make medical decisions. No matter what a person’s age, they can benefit from having a living will.

Make life easier for a person’s family

When a person becomes incapacitated, it will be a stressful and scary time for their family. Family members may not agree on how they want the medical care to proceed so having this written down in a document ahead of time can ease the burden on families.

Delegate decision making

If a person doesn’t have a living will, the state will often designate someone to make medical decisions. Often this person doesn’t know what the incapacitated person would want. With a living will these major decisions have already been made.

Receive the care the person really wants

By having a living will a person is able to avoid receiving care that they don’t want. They will be able to receive the care that they want and are comfortable with. They can avoid any invasive or unnecessary treatments without their prior consent.

An attorney who specializes in trusts and estates can meet with their client and help them create an estate plan that works for their unique situation. Every family has different needs and there are many options to protect a person’s assets, their children, healthcare wishes, and many other important matters.