So if you are the do-it-yourself type when it comes to your financial planning and inheritance affairs, what are the key things to look for when filling out living will forms?
Making the choice to fill out a living will form is one of the smartest financial and legal choices you can make – especially if you have immediate family that you want to take care of – in case of death. Yes a morbid thought – but we all must consider.
Some people will always opt for an attorney, feeling more secure that something with legal know-how is taking care of everything for them. I went through the living will process with my parents with an attorney and I’ve got to say – I caught some things that the attorney didn’t and corrected them. Today there are living will forms online that can guide you through the process. Yes it’s safe to have an attorney, but then again the inheritance planning and will process has been going on for hundreds of years and it’s really not rocket science. But you do have to get it right, so if you lack any confidence in doing it yourself, always seek the help of an attorney.
List Out What You Want in Your Will
This is very simple, but very important. Any legal document is always based on simple practical concepts – and the “legalese” is the language it is spoken in. Listing out what you want on paper will guarantee that if things get confusing – you will always stay on track.
Read the Form Thoroughly
You may just be surprised when you actually read the living will, of how much you do understand. Of course if you aren’t comfortable with it and don’t want to pay an attorney or any financial planner, then you can ask family or friends – if they have done the process themselves. Or perhaps they know a budding law student that can help you to understand.
But if you don’t understand everything and don’t have anybody to help you for free, it is always best to seek the advice of a lawyer. We’re talking about the security of your loved ones’ futures – and you don’t want anything left to probate processes unaddressed.
Wills Are State-Specific – Know the Law
Due to the probate process being operated at a state-level – the living will process is state-specific. If you ever choose to move, that means you will need to redo your last will & testament.
Do your research on the state laws regarding wills and the inheritance process. It’s important that you are intimately familiar with these laws – especially if you are filling out your own living will forms.
Assign Someone as a Proxy
Some living will forms will necessitate that you assign a “health care proxy”. This is someone who can make sure your health or end-of-life needs can be properly taken care of. Make sure it is someone you trust and can carry out your wishes, not theirs.
No one enjoys the thought of their own death, but completing your will and sound planning is an important step – to make sure that you and your loved ones are taken care of. Think of it as something you won’t have to worry about when the time comes.