Advantages of a Living Will


Specialized law offices around the country have worked tirelessly to ensure that after a person’s passing, the family can be at ease with the often-cumbersome process of negotiating the estate of the deceased. Even before the estate planning process begins with an attorney or will lawyer, there are many requirements that must be fulfilled in order to deal with the negotiations and settlements. One such step is confirming that the deceased had previously given power of attorney to a trusted love one before their passing. In general, power of attorney allows that trusted loved one to make decisions on behalf of whoever appointed them. As an “agent” of that person, it becomes their task to help the loved one in writing a will, qualifying for benefits, and other such actions that should result in a variable-free legal process after death. The fundamental difference between the two types of wills, the last will and testament and the living will, is the time in which they are enforced. A living will, or “advanced directive,” has the advantage of taking effect from the exact moment that it is notarized, which can instruct the agent on how to inventory the estate, distribute “bequests” (or personal gifts), complete other necessary payments, and take general care of the loved one at the end of their life. Contrarily, the last will and testament only goes into effect after the death of the person.

Living wills have the benefit of immediacy, which has made them extremely popular in the United States. In fact, the number of living wills is up from 47% in the year 2000 to 72% in the year 2010. Interestingly enough, however, only 36% of the country is qualifying for benefits entrusted in a will, as 64% of the country has not written a will of any kind. Experts suggest that if you do not have a rough outline of your will, living or otherwise, by the time you are forty years old, now is the time. All things considered, the benefits of having your requests in writing will help immensely when you no can no longer verbalize your requests to your attorney, will lawyer, estate planning lawyer, or your family. By having the peace-of-mind in knowing that matters beyond the end-of-life care are settled in writing, the living will provides the loved one with control and comfort in their final days, liberating the family to spend crucial time with the loved one rather than in legal offices, qualifying for benefits and settling legal requests without the loved one present.

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