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What are the top benefits of a living will?

The creation of a living will is nothing to take lightly, as it can give both you and your family peace of mind. Also known as an advance health care directive, this legal document allows you to clearly outline the type of medical treatment you want to receive should you be unable to communicate your wishes in the future.

You don't have to add a living will to your estate plan, but doing so will make it more complete. Here are some of the top benefits of taking this step:

  • You'll know what type of treatment you will and won't receive: For example, if you don't want to be kept alive on life support, you can clearly outline your wishes in your living will. This way, you don't have to worry about receiving treatment that doesn't suit you.
  • Make tough decisions easy on your family: If you're facing a challenging medical crisis, it's not always easy for your family to make informed decisions with a clear mind. With the help of a living will, you can make these decisions in advance so they don't have to.
  • Give your medical team direction: Your family isn't the only one to benefit from the creation of a living will. You can also use it to provide your medical team with direction regarding the type of treatment you do and don't want to receive.

Along with the above, many people create a living will because they're concerned about the financial impact of receiving costly medical treatment. This doesn't necessarily mean you'll turn down all available treatment, but you can draw a line where it makes sense from a financial point of view.

With so many benefits of a living will, it's something to strongly consider adding to your estate plan. You hope that it never gets used, but if you're unable to make your own financial decisions it's a legal document that can come to the rescue.

As you create your living will, pay close attention to what you can and can't include. Also, keep your family members in loop, as you'll want them to clearly understand your wishes. Doing these things will help you create a legally binding living will that provides you with peace of mind, regardless of your age and health.

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