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The Basics of A Living Will | Illinois Estate Planning Lawyer

 Posted on March 09, 2013 in Estate Planning

Estate planning can be daunting, even to the most seasoned money-maker and mover. Setting up an estate plan is admitting mortality, and many people shy away from it solely because they fear what it implies. Yet having an estate plan shouldn't be looked at as preparation for death—it's preparation for the lives of your loved ones after you're gone. There are several aspects of estate planning, and each step of the way can be a complicated one. The most important first step is to contact an estate planning attorney who can walk you through the process.

One aspect of estate planning is a living will or a health-care proxy, which, according to CNN Money Magazine, is also known as an advance medical directive. A living will is a "statement of your wishes for the kind of life-sustaining medical intervention you want, or don't want, in the even that you become terminally ill and unable to communicate," according to CNN Money Magazine. Many people fear becoming so ill that their lives are only sustained by artificial means such as life support, and would rather check out, so to speak, than breath through an apparatus. Others would rather hold out hope until the very end. The only way to let your loved ones know legally which you'd prefer is through a living will.

According to CNN Money Magazine, "most states have living will statues that define when a living will goes into effect (for example, when a person has less than six months to live). Illinois has an actual Living Will Act, which finds "that persons have the fundamental right to control the decisions relating to the rendering of their own medical care, including the decision to have death delaying procedures withheld or withdrawn in instances of terminal condition." The Living Will declaration for Illinois can be filled out and kept with a family member in the event of catastrophe.

Living wills are only one part of estate planning. Don't attempt it alone. Contact a dedicated Illinois estate planning lawyer today.

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