Do I need a living will if I already have a standard will?

A last will and testament is a mainstay for Michigan adults. While this document can bring you peace of mind, it does not cover everything you may need while still alive. 

A living will is a type of advance directive that makes your wishes a reality when you cannot communicate them but are still alive. 

Providing a written guide 

Dave Ramsey describes a living will as a complement to a last will and testament. The former handles property care, child guardianship and your assets while you are alive, while the latter details these items for after you die. This comes in handy when you fall seriously ill, suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or are simply unable to make these decisions for yourself. 

This guide essentially maps out what you want in written form. Loved ones can then use this to care for you, your family and your assets when you are unable to. 

The great thing about a living will is that it only takes effect when you are alive but unable to communicate. Without both factors in effect, you retain control of the estate, or the last will and testament steps in, in case of death. 

Answering the tough questions 

When you face a serious medical condition, family members must try to figure out what you would like. If you have a living will, your wishes are set in stone. Relatives do not have to agonize over whether they are abiding by your desires or not. 

When planning your living will, think about all of those tough decisions that can plague you in a medical crisis. Consider things such as intubation, resuscitation, feeding tubes and organ donation.