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What is a living will and how can it benefit me?

Many Kent residents have a will or trust in place, but what about a living will? A living will is a legal document that details the type of medical care a person wishes to receive should he or she become incapacitated and unable to express his or her wishes. Read on to learn more about this document and the benefits it offers.

Any competent adult can create a living will. The will includes details about the types of medical care the person does and does not want. The directions, however, must be reasonable and enforced by the doctor. The will can also allow for someone to make health care decisions on behalf of the person should there be a situation not outlined in the document.

A living will allows a person to live - or die - as he or she pleases. Medical advances can keep people alive for many years in a vegetative state. Is that how you would want to live the final days, months or years of your life? In many cases, people are kept alive by life support, but maybe that's not what you want - or maybe you would allow it only for a specific time, such as a week or two. You can outline all your personal preferences in a living will, and it will be enforced.

A living will can help prevent all of your assets being used to pay for medical expenses and treatments that may not keep you alive in the long run. Instead, this money can be passed on to your spouse, children, grandchildren and other heirs. You can ensure that your intentions and final wishes are kept in mind.

Source: FindLaw, "Should You Consider a Living Will?," accessed Feb. 21, 2015

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