Living Will

Estate planning includes more than just planning what will happen after you pass away. You should also plan for your incapacitation due to an illness or injury. In addition to the last will and testament and trust, every Louisianan should include a living will in their estate plan. Accidents and medical emergencies can happen to people of all ages, and you should always prepare for the unexpected.

Living Will

What is a Living Will in Metairie?

A living will is a legal document that states an individual’s health care preferences for end-of-life care in the event that they are incapacitated and unable to communicate their decisions. It addresses life-sustaining treatments, such as CPR, feeding tubes, ventilators, kidney dialysis, and organ donation. It goes into effect when your medical condition becomes terminable and irreversible, as determined by two doctors, one of whom is your treating physician.

Why Do You Need a Living Will in Metairie?

There are many reasons why you should include a living will in your estate plan. Three of the most significant benefits are listed below.

Communicate Your Wishes. A living will give you control over your end-of-life treatment at a time when you cannot communicate your wishes. A living will ensure that you will only get the treatment that you are comfortable with.
Avoid Disputes. Family members often have different opinions about end-of-life care, even when everyone has their best interests at heart. In extreme cases, disputes can tear families apart and lead to litigation. Instead of fighting, your loved ones can focus on getting you the specific care you requested if you have a living will.
Relieve Burden on Loved Ones. Making decisions about a loved one’s end-life-care can be highly emotional, especially when they are unsure what you would have wanted. A living will relieve this decision-making burden at an emotional time.

Do You Need an Attorney to Create a Living Will in Metairie?

Although a quick google search will lead you to various DIY living wills, you should always consult with an experienced estate planning attorney. Louisiana has strict requirements that you must follow for a living will to be valid. For example, the document must be signed and dated in the presence of two witnesses who are at least 18 years old. Neither of the witnesses can be related to you by blood or marriage or entitled to any portion of your estate. A living will that does not meet the state’s requirements will not be enforceable.

Additionally, the online forms contain simple, boilerplate provisions that will not be drafted to your specific needs. An attorney can help you create a comprehensive and personalized document that communicates your unique preferences.

What Steps Should You Take After Your Living Will is Prepared and Signed in Metairie?

After drafting your living will, you should put the original in a safe place and provide copies to your medical providers, family members, and attorney. Additionally, you may register the original or certified copy of your living will with the Secretary of State for a small fee. Your doctor has no duty to search the registry to determine if you have a living will on file, so it is critical to notify them and provide a copy.

If you register with the Secretary of State, you will receive a laminated wallet card that you should keep with you. You should keep a record of who has a copy of your living will and review it every few years to ensure that every person who needs a copy has one.

Can You Revoke (Take Back) Your Living Will in Metairie?

You can change your mind and revoke your living will at any time. You can do this by physically destroying your living will, orally communicating to others that you revoke your living will, or signing and dating a written document indicating your intent to revoke your living will.

You should make sure to give a copy of your revocation to anyone who has a copy of your living will and the Secretary of State if your living will is filed with them. If your doctor has a copy of your living will, it will remain valid until you communicate your revocation to them.

Your Metairie Estate Planning Attorney

If you have questions about estate planning, you should reach out to a local Metairie attorney. The Fisher Law Firm is a full-service law firm dedicated to providing the best legal services to Louisiana residents. Your initial consultation is free, so call us today at 504-304-4944 to schedule an appointment at our Metairie, Louisiana office.

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