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A living will or an advance directive for a natural death is a document Durham estate planning attorneys can work with you to create that lets your family and doctors know what to do if you become incapacitated. Becoming incapacitated means that you are no longer able to make your own health care decisions because of a terminal illness, coma, advanced dementia, or other irreversible loss of cognitive ability. A living will lets you decide what type of life saving and life prolonging measures you want, or more importantly, which ones you do not want, and under what circumstances.

You may be wondering why you should have this document when you can just tell your loved ones and doctors what you want. However, there are many situations that could come up in which your family may not want to follow your wishes. We can tell our loved ones we do not want life prolonging measures, but it is not easy for our loved ones to make those decisions and live with them. You may have told them that you do not want life support, but they do not want to lose you and may choose to ignore those wishes without a living will. Likewise, your family may disagree about what the best course of action is.  Living will makes it clear to everyone what your wishes are and will often prevent disagreements about your care before they start.

It is never too early to think about creating a living will. Hopler, Wilms, & Hanna are happy to sit down with you at any state of your life to create the estate plan that is best for you.

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