Many people think that a Last Will & Testament only matters after someone dies. That is simply not true. A Last Will & Testament that is prepared in consultation with a professional allows each of us to plan not only how to gift our property after our death but also how to arrange the use, possession, and transfer of our property during our life and (for certain assets) at the moment of our deaths.
Further, planning for property distribution during life and after death relieves those left behind of wondering how the person who died would have preferred to give their property to their loved ones.
In addition to the Last Will & Testament, each person should have an Advanced Directive for health care. These documents allow each of us, while we are still fully competent, to tell those caring for us what decisions each of us would make regarding what our choices would be in certain situations. For example, before a final illness or if we become mentally incompetent from Alzheimer’s, dementia, a coma, or some other illness each of us can choose whether or not we want feeding tubes, water tubes, respirators, CPR, etc.
By making these decisions in advance, we help keep our loved ones, health care professionals, and caregivers from wondering what our choices would have been had we the mental capacity to make those decisions.
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