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Living Will: Facts & Myths

Living Will Facts & Myths

Today’s Estate Planning legal options are numerous. While that is a very good thing because it gives you lots of options, it also creates some confusion. As you navigate all of those legal processes and forms, do not overlook the importance of a comprehensive Living Will.

At The Siegel Law Group, we offer a comprehensive list of Estate Planning services to help you confidently make big decisions. Living Wills is one of those services.

What Is The Difference Between A Will and a Living Will?

Many people don’t understand the difference between a traditional Will and a Living Will.

  • A Last Will and Testament outlines how a deceased person’s assets will be distributed after their death.
  • In contrast, a Living Will details the medical care an individual wishes to receive until the end of their life, especially if they are no longer able to make decisions about their own care.

Difference between a Will and Living Will

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Dispelling the Myths About Living Wills

Living Wills provide various benefits to those who create them. At the heart of this is the ability to have a say in what happens to you and your assets once you die. Consider the following specific aspects of Living Wills, which are often misunderstood.

Myth: I Don’t Need a Living Will Because I Do Not Have Strong Wishes

There is a huge misconception that a Living Will is something meant for those who are wealthy and have numerous assets to leave behind. However, these legal documents provide far more than that. A Living Will, for example, provides very specific direction on what steps you want your family to take when you cannot make decisions for yourself.

Even if you do not have very strong opinions on the type and level of care you receive, you should still offer some clarity in this area. It gives your family some relief to know you have expressed any interests you do have.

Myth: My Family Knows My Wishes

While it is a fantastic thing to communicate openly within your family about your end-of-life wishes, that only goes so far. In fact, unless it is written down and clearly outlined, you cannot and should not assume that your wishes will be adhered to in any way.

To be legally binding, you must create a legal document. It should outline all of your wishes in compliance with state laws. It should include:

  • What you wish to happen if you become terminally ill
  • What happens in situations where you are permanently unconscious
  • Who makes decisions for you when you cannot do so on your own for any other reason

Myth: I Do Not Want to Commit to These Decisions Just Yet

Whether you are young, hoping to get married at some time in the future or expecting your life to change in other ways, that does not forgo the need for a Living Will now. This document could be in place for people at all stages of life.

You can (and should) change your Living Will over time. When you wish to have a change in any aspect of it, such as the decisions you made or who you wish to make those decisions, work closely with Estate Planning Attorneys who can help you do that. You can change your Will whenever and how often you would like to do so.

Myth: It is Better if I Let My Family Make These Decisions

Often, a Living Will seems like a document that only states who you want to make your end of life decisions and your preferences for advanced measures.. Yet, this document does much more and includes strategies and steps related to numerous other decisions. While you may be okay with a family member making those decisions for you, consider it from their point of view.

If you tell them what you wish and what your thoughts, beliefs and goals are, they can feel more confident in the decision to take drastic measures. Clearly explaining your wishes in a Living Will can prevent conflict and stress between family members. If you do not do so, and you are lost to them, they may always wonder if they did the best for you or if they made the wrong decision. It is incredibly freeing to your family members to have your wishes clearly outlined for them.

Myth: I Can Do it Later

Writing a Will is an incredibly important component of making decisions for yourself and your family. Living Will Attorneys can help you navigate the specifics of this process, give you ample options as you plan your estate and help you avoid common pitfalls. However, if you wait, you may not have that chance.

A Living Will, along with other tools, gives you the ability to be flexible and communicative now, while you’re in good health. There is no reason to wait. Doing so, and then being involved in a car accident or being diagnosed with a health condition, is devastating.

Here is another myth: It is too time-consuming, too expensive or too hard to do. Whether you are drafting an Estate Plan or creating a comprehensive Will, the process does not have to be complex or take a lot of your time. It should be something you think about and plan for carefully, and you should research all of the legal strategies available to you, but it does not have to take up a lot of your time.

Let Our Estate Planning Attorneys Offer the Guidance You Need

We know Living Wills and other legal documents can be challenging to master, and no one really wants to think about them. Yet, with the help of our highly skilled team, we can ensure you are making the best decision possible for yourself while relieving some of the frustration and pain that your family members may face later. Let us help you create a plan. You may find that this can give you a sense of relief in its own right.

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Call THE South Florida Estate Planning Attorneys – The Siegel Law Group

Now is the best time to set up a consultation with our Estate Planning Attorneys about your Living Will and Estate Plan. If you have strong wishes, we can offer strategies for realizing them. Even if you do not, we can help you navigate the best solutions for creating a plan that addresses your needs properly.

Call our office at 561-576-6206 to schedule a complimentary consultation, or submit our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

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