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Home » Estate Planning » New Jersey estate planning: Do I need a living will?

When thinking about the future, one doesn’t really want to think about his or her ultimate demise. Yet, it is something that should be done. This is where estate planning enters the picture. Many New Jersey residents may think that this process is only for covering one’s bases for when they die — but it can do a lot more than that.

People hear of wills all the time. These documents states how one wants his or her assets distributed after death, along with any other information for loved ones to know. Living wills, on the other hand, may not be something with which people are really familiar. These documents state wants and wishes regarding medical care for when one is still alive but incapacitated and unable to express these wants and wishes.

A living will can be extremely detailed when it comes to stating which types of medical treatments one will or will not allow. It also allows a person to provide specific care instructions. Health care providers generally are legally required to follow the directions presented in a living will. If for some reason there is conflict over the requests made in a living will, a judge may have the final say regarding the living will’s validity.

Does one need a living will? Not necessarily, but there certainly is no harm in putting one’s medical care wants and wishes in writing. It can help avoid disputes among family members and ensure one’s wishes are known. An experienced estate planning attorney can assist New Jersey residents in deciding if having this legal document in their arsenal makes sense for them and help them create it if it does.

Source: FindLaw, “Living Will Basics“, Accessed on March 27, 2018