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Understanding a living will

When most people think of wills, they think of property distribution. However, that's just one function of one specific type of will. Make sure you don't assume you know what all wills do and therefore overlook other powerful legal tools while doing your estate planning.

For example, you may be interested in a living will. It doesn't pass the home on to the kids or divide up the cash in your bank account. Instead, it focuses on health care and medical assistance.

The living will is used while you're still alive, but if something takes your decision-making power away from you. It tells your heirs what you desire.

For example, you could have a stroke that could leave you unable to speak. A year later, your health could deteriorate to the point that you're on life support.

Do you want to stay on life support, or would you rather that your kids let you pass naturally? You can't tell them. You may be unable to move or speak. You can't pass your wishes on.

Leaving the kids without a living will can be torment for them. Will they feel guilty to pull the plug, feeling like they're taking your life away from you? Will they feel guilty to leave you on life support, knowing that's not the end you wanted?

The living will keeps you from putting them in this tough situation, and both you and your heirs will be happy to have it. If you have any questions about how it works or how to set one up, our website can provide the answers you're after.

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140 East Water Street
Statesville, NC 28677

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