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When Should You Set Up a Living Will?

Dec 1, 2018 5:00:00 AM The MacMillan Estate Planning Team Will Planning, living will


While you may be most concerned about the financial strategy and tax planning of your estate, it’s essential to appreciate the importance of the legal documentation it involves. One legal apparatus you may need is a living will, but how exactly do you know when to set it up?

Living Will Recap

As you may remember from this article, a last will and a living will are two distinct documents. Your last will concerns the administration and distribution of your assets and property, while a living will allows you to proactively make directives concerning your healthcare. This ensures that your family and medical caregivers will know your wishes in the event that you can no longer give informed consent or make key decisions. This differs from durable power of attorney, although they often intersect. Power of attorney designates an individual to make decisions on your behalf, while a living will expresses specific wishes and preferences.

When to Write It

The issue of when to draft this document is often more straightforward than many people assume. Most think of living wills as only applying to those individuals facing serious health issues or the elderly. Accidents or serious health issues can happen with little warning and may impact anyone, regardless of age. Every adult should have one executed as soon as possible. In short, if you are above the age of majority and want to have better control over how you'll be cared for in the event you are unable to make decisions or give directions for yourself, you should begin taking steps to write your living will.

Why It’s important

Whether it’s linked to pain medication, organ donation, life support, or other pivotal issues, lack of a living will can lead to a significant degree of personal turmoil among loved ones, not to mention a higher probability of dispute. As is always the case in estate planning, preventing ambiguity is always the right course of action. In order to be valid, a living will has to meet a number of legal requirements which often vary depending on the region. Work with an experienced estate planning specialist to create a living will that holds up. This will guarantee that your medical wishes are clearly stated and faithfully respected.

MacMillan Estate Planning is here to empower your estate with legal and financial guidance of the utmost quality, sensitivity, and integrity. Our knowledge of estate law and dedication to our clients are unlike that of any other firm, so contact us to get your complimentary consultation.

At MacMillan Estate Planning, our team of professional trust and estate practitioners, chartered accountants, financial planners, and legal professionals look forward to assisting you with the design of your estate plan and will ensure you build, protect, and enjoy your wealth. The information provided is general and may not be suited to your objectives or sufficient to ensure the protection of you and your family. You should not act on this information without providing MacMillan Estate Planning with the opportunity to ensure that it is suitable for your unique situation.

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