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When to Update Your Living Will

If you are considering creating or updating a Living Will in the event that you become ill or incapacitated, you probably have questions about when to do so. It’s a good idea to review and make changes to your entire estate plan as needed every few years. This ensures that you’re ready for any eventuality. However, there are several important life events that mean you should reconsider your Living Will. Here are a few occasions when you should reevaluate your Living Will and other estate planning documents:

  • When you get married – making someone else a part of your life involves letting them become involved in your decisions. Many people update Living Wills to give their spouse power of attorney upon getting married. It makes sense to prepare for medical emergencies by including your spouse in your decisions.
  • When you become a parent – Your wishes for your family often take on a heightened importance when you become a parent, making this an excellent time to update your Living Will. You might change your opinions about medical treatments after having a child, and your estate planning documents should reflect that.
  • Before a significant surgery – If you are scheduled to have surgery, it’s a good idea to review your Living Will and consider the provisions in it just in case they are needed. Major surgeries can have uncertain outcomes, so it never hurts to be prepared.
  • When your health changes significantly – for example, if you are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, cancer, or another serious disease you might wish to revise your estate plan. Realizing that a Living Will could actually be needed often motivates people to review it to make sure it reflects their current wishes.
  • When you retire – sometimes, our views can change as we get older. Once you reach retirement age your opinions on medical treatments may evolve as well. This is a good occasion to check in and make sure your Living Will is still an accurate reflection of your wishes.
  • If your wishes change – your attitude toward the directives in your Living Will can change for a number of reasons, such as significant life events. If you suddenly feel differently about the issues addressed in your Living Will it is best to make the necessary changes immediately, so you don’t run the risk of needing it and not having the changes in place. A New York estate planning lawyer can help you design a plan that fits your needs.

Planning for Incapacity

An incapacity plan is essential to have in place in the event that you are unable to make medical decisions on your own. Although most people don’t wish to dwell on the possibility that they could be incapacitated due to illness or injury, putting advance directives in place now can save you and your loved ones from painful uncertainty in the future.

For help updating your Living Will and other important estate planning documents, contact the law offices of Queens probate lawyer Richard Cary Spivack, and go forward with peace of mind.

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