Making The Complex

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A living will is an important part of Louisiana estate planning

Preparing for getting older requires some time spent creating appropriate legal documents. Louisiana residents preparing their estate plans may want to include a living will to ensure a well-rounded plan. A living will is important for many reasons, primarily since it conveys wishes for medical care when the individual making the document is not able to make those decisions due to incapacitation.

A living will differs from a last will in that it is enforceable while the testator is still alive and lets health care professionals know a person’s wishes regarding issues such as pain management, end of life care. It can also indicate whether a person wants life-saving measures to be enacted in certain circumstances. It is regarded as an advance care directive as is a power of attorney or a health care proxy.

Testators may wish to establish a surrogate for their livings wills — someone who can sign forms and communicate wishes when a testator is incapacitated and cannot do so. A living will can let responders know if a testator wishes to receive treatments like CPR, tube feeding, be on breathing support, or wish to receive medications like antibiotics. With today’s wide array of treatment options, individuals would be wise to have documents in place providing some directions in terms of do’s and don’ts.

Having a living will may take some pressure and stress off loved ones who may be called upon to make decisions for their loved one when they don’t know how their loved one would feel about the decisions to be made. There are many things to think about when fashioning a living will. The decisions should reflect a testator’s personal values and beliefs.

A Louisiana lawyer may be able to assist a client in writing a living will. An attorney’s help may be helpful to ensure such a document adheres to all state laws. He or she can also assist with any changes a testator would like to make to an existing document.


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