March 11, 2022
How Good is your Living Will? | Medical Power of Attorney
One of the many documents an estate planning attorney will encourage clients to put together is a living will.
These documents have been considered incredibly important in both the legal and medical fields for over forty years.
Estate Attorney and Advisor Chris Berry of Castle Wealth Group answers questions on retirement and estate planning every Wednesday at 1pm. Register via this link or give our office a call at 844-885-4200.
Castle Wealth Group and Christopher Berry help families with estate planning, elder law, retirement planning, and tax planning from their offices in Brighton, Ann Arbor, Livonia, Bloomfield Hills, and Novi.
Castle Wealth Group helps families with their legal, financial, and tax planning for their retirement and legacy.
With the use of legal structures like revocable living trusts, Castle Trusts (asset protection trusts), Chris Berry and Castle Wealth Group can help your family plan, protect, and preserve what is important through their Retirement and Legacy Blueprint Process.
A living will provide you with the opportunity to make your medical wishes known should you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions.
A living will also cover topics like whether or not you want to be on life support and how you feel about doctors taking “extraordinary” measures to prolong your life.
There are a lot of benefits to having a living will. For example, it can take some of the burdens off of your loved ones who will likely be in a state of shock if something unexpected happens to you.
It’s always important to keep in mind that things like choosing to end life support for a spouse or parent is a heart-wrenching decision, and you should always try to take that burden from your loved ones, if possible.
However, as helpful as a living will can be during a medical emergency, one of the biggest problems with this document is that the wording can be vague and hard to interpret in a crisis.
This is especially true when you use generic online templates instead of working with a knowledgeable attorney.
Remember, one-size-fits-all documents are generally laid out in black and white and don’t take into account many of the gray areas your loved ones could face when overseeing your health care.
For example, you may check the box that you want to be removed from life support if you do not have a “reasonable chance” or “quality of life”. But what do the words “reasonable chance” and “quality of life” mean for you?
Everyone defines these things differently, and leaving your loved ones with such a vague description can easily open the door for confusion, heartache, and family feuds.
This is precisely why an estate planning attorney will not only help you create a customized living will, but they will also help you appoint a health care agent whom you trust to make decisions when situations are not so cut and dry.
This will be a person with whom you can discuss your values and wishes ahead of time and designate them to take the lead on any “gray area” health care decisions that need to be made.
Having a health care agent, in addition to a living will is a very important part of the estate planning process that we can help you take care of. If you do not have health care directives in place, or you would like to have your current documents reviewed to ensure they will actually work for your family in an emergency, simply give our office a call at 844-885-4200 and ask to schedule a free consultation with the mention of this video.