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Humans differ from every other creature on earth because we know that one day our life and everyone else’s will eventually end. So you would think that most rational human beings would make a plan for the last stage of life, but unfortunately, the opposite is usually true.

The fact is, most of us put more planning into our annual vacation than we do for the very last trip any of us will ever take. Here are some guidelines for developing an effective end-of-life plan:

Create a plan. The end-of-life plan basics include a will, a living will (depending on what state you live in), and an advance medical directive (also called a medical power of attorney or healthcare proxy). The will takes care of the disposition of your assets; a living will and an advance medical directive take care of you and the medical decisions you want made on your behalf if you are no longer able to make those known.

Choosing the right person to advocate for your end-of-life healthcare decisions is critical; sometimes family members will be the right choice, and sometimes you may be wiser to choose someone you can trust and who can stand strong in the face of any family opposition to carrying out your wishes.

Talk to your family. The end-of-life discussion is a hard one to have, so consider doing it when you are doing something else – for example, taking a walk or getting together for coffee. Talk to your family about the decisions you have made and the reasons you made them. Experts say that getting a family’s understanding of the final medical measures that should or should not be employed in prolonging life is the best protection for ensuring your wishes are respected.

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.