As disheartening as it may be, statistics consistently indicate that a majority of Americans are not prepared from an estate planning perspective. Given this reality, recent statistics regarding the percentage of people that have a living will in place unfortunately come as no surprise to estate planners.
A popular legal website conducted the survey, and it found that just over 60% of the respondents did not have a living will in place.
Unlike a last will, a living will is not used to state your wishes regarding the financial holdings that will remain after you pass away. A living will is an advance directive for health care.
With this type of directive, you record your choices with regard to the utilization of things like ventilators and feeding tubes to keep you alive even if there was no hope of recovery.
This may not be the most pleasant thing to think about, but this alone should not deter you from crafting your living will. If you find it to be a difficult subject to think about now, imagine how your family would feel if such a circumstance were to arise.
Leaving it all up to them may not be entirely fair. When you state your own wishes clearly in your living will, you take this choice out of the hands of your family members. At the same time, you seize control of some very important and personal decisions.
If you don’t know how to proceed with regard to advance directives, we encourage you to attend one of our free estate planning seminars. Advance care directives are an integral part of every estate planning portfolio we prepare and should definitely be included in any comprehensive estate plan.