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Should a living will be part of your estate plan?

Anyone can benefit from having a complete estate plan in place, but no two estate plans should be the same. What you need to include as part of your plan depends largely upon your goals, you needs and your objectives for your estate.

Many in Utah do not know that estate planning is about more than just deciding what will happen to your money and assets after you pass away. You can actually include elements that will allow you to control your health care and medical needs in case of incapacitation in the future. One of the ways to do this is by drafting a living will as part of your complete plan. 

What does a living will do?

Despite its name, a living will is not like a will at all. It is simply a document that allows you to outline your preferences and wishes in case of incapacitation due to an illness or serious injury. You will only need a living will if you cannot speak for yourself, but it can provide you with a sense of security knowing that you have already decided what kind of care you want. Things that you can do through your living will include the following:

  • Outline the types of medical treatment that you do not want and the withholding of some medical interventions
  • Request specific medical techniques
  • Describe which types of treatment you do want

Many people find that living wills are good tools to use in conjunction with a power of attorney. This allows you to name a person to act on your behalf and make decisions that you may not specifically address in your living will. Every person is unique, and you may find it beneficial to seek an explanation of your options as you consider adding a living will to your estate plan.

You get to decide what will happen

You cannot control the future, but a strong estate plan allows you the opportunity to have a measure of control over some things. This includes medical treatments you may want if you are hurt or seriously ill and how you want to distribute your estate.

If you do not have a living will, it may be prudent to discuss these serious medical decisions with a doctor or care provider. As you move forward with the process of completing your estate plan, a living will can provide you with peace of mind for yourself and your family.

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Stevenson Smith Hood P.C. | 4605 Harrison Blvd. Ogden, UT 84403 | Phone: 801-399-9910 | Fax:801-399-9954 | Map & Directions