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Living will vs. durable power of attorney

| Apr 9, 2015 | Estate Administration |

Do you know what will happen to you if you become incapacitated or are unable to make decisions regarding your health? Having a living will or durable power of attorney can make all the difference in the event you cannot make end-of-life decisions for yourself. 

Your estate plan should include a living will or durable power of attorney, sometimes even both. It is important to know what these documents are and their benefits before deciding which one to include in your estate plan. 

What is the difference between a living will and durable power of attorney? A living will states how you will be cared for if you are incapacitated or during a medical emergency. A living will can include information on the type of end-of-life treatments you will receive and resuscitation options. 

A living will can act as a primary healthcare directive and protect your wishes in the event you cannot make healthcare decisions on your own. 

A durable power of attorney is a document that gives another person the ability to make medical decisions for you in the event you no longer can. A durable power of attorney can be very beneficial to have in addition to a living will. 

This is because a living will cannot address all potential medical issues you can face. A durable power of attorney can ensure that someone will be able to make these decisions on your behalf. It is important to note that a living will takes precedence over a durable power of attorney. 

You can benefit from having both of these documents in your estate plan. To discuss your specific needs and what to address in your living will, you should work with an estate planning attorney. 

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