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It is estimated that 25 to 30 percent of Americans have living wills – legal documents that detail your wishes for end-of-life care. However, with growing technological advances in medicine, healthcare professionals are increasingly less able to predict medical outcomes – making it more difficult for families to adhere to a living will.

Those considering drafting a living will should take these steps:

Appoint a healthcare agent. Do not rely solely on a living will to communicate your healthcare wishes. Instead, appoint a trusted family member or friend as your healthcare agent.

Talk to your doctor. Discuss your living will with your primary care physician, who can answer any questions you may have about specific issues with your health.

Customize your living will. Living will forms are available online, and California allows you to write your own living will, but online forms are intentionally vague and unless you are a California estate planning attorney, you probably won’t know how to write your own. An estate planning attorney can help you customize your living will as well as assist with the naming of a healthcare agent.

Talk to family. Discuss your end-of-life care wishes with family and your healthcare agent so they are clear on exactly what you do – and do not – want.

The Flanigan Law Group provides Southern California residents with personal attention for estate planning, administration and litigation legal services. When disputes between families, arise, they are very successful in resolving legal estate issues quickly and efficiently while preserving financial and emotional resources. Contact the Flanigan Law Group at 949-450-0042.