Do I Need a Living Will?

Most of us know what a will is, but do we know what a living will is? And, the big question is, do I NEED one? We all have a general idea that our will leaves our property and assets to our loved ones and various members of our estate at the time of our passing. That all is a part of our Funeral Planning session when you meet with one of our agents; however, one colleague of mine made a very good point to me not too long ago. We oftentimes insure and have more directive for our physical property than we do for our own body.

This is where a Living Will comes into play. A living will, also known as an advance care directive, leaves specific instructions for the care of your body in the case that one is incapacitated to do so. This is most likely at the end of one’s life, but not always.

Included in an advance care directive will be an assignment of a power of attorney, or POA. This allows someone to make all financial decisions in lieu of the signature of the incapacitated person. A health care proxy will also be assigned, or HCP. This is the person that will make the final call on all health care decisions. Usually, the POA is the same as the HCP, but not always.

I will give you a for instance: Lets say in a family you have one child that is a businessperson, and one that is a physician. It would be wise to assign the POA to the businessperson and HCP to the physician. I hope this little example makes the difference between POA and HCP more understandable.

As always, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. We are here for you!

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