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A living will can strengthen your estate plan

There are many details to consider when creating an estate plan. It's natural to focus most your time on a will or trust, as this governs who gets what upon your death, but you don't want to overlook other details that are every bit as important.

A living will, for example, can give you the peace of mind you deserve.

Despite the name, this isn't a will that dictates what happens to your assets upon your death. Instead, it's a document that outlines your preferences regarding medical treatment in the event that you are unable to communicate your wishes as a result of an injury or illness.

What does a living will cover?

This is an important question, as you need to have a clear idea of everything a living will can do for you. To start, this document can direct medical professionals to withhold treatment in particular situations.

While this is a big deal, it's not the only thing a living will can do. For example, you can use it to request specific medical procedures or access to all available treatment.

If you don't understand exactly what a living will can cover, it's possible that you could make a mistake that harms you and/or your family in the future.

Choose the right attorney-in-fact

There is a lot that goes into creating a living will, including the process of choosing an attorney-in-fact. You must be able to trust this person, as he or she will make key health care decisions on your behalf. Also, the person should be able to review your living will to understand your wishes.

There are many people you can choose as an attorney-in-fact, such as a spouse or adult child, so take your time when making a final decision.

You are not required by law to add a living will to your estate plan, but there are many reasons why this may be something you want to do.

When you combine this with a will or trust, you can be confident about anything that could happen in the future.

It can be a challenge to create a living will, as you need to make key decisions regarding future health treatment, but you don't want to ignore this because you are afraid of what you'll find. Instead, take the time to understand the benefits and determine if it's something you need to add to your estate plan.

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Lesser Lutrey Pasquesi & Howe, LLP
191 E. Deerpath Suite 300
Lake Forest, IL 60045

Phone: 847-295-8800
Fax: 847-295-8886
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