While few people want to consider their death, it is necessary to make sure that your loved ones are cared for. It is also essential to write a living will in the event of a medical emergency where you cannot give consent. To write a living will that meets legal requirements, follow this simple guide.
Legal Requirements For A Will
There are several important distinctions between writing a will and creating a living will. A will determines how your funds and possessions will be distributed after death. A living will informs your doctors and loved ones about medical care and burial arrangments if you are unable to give consent due to injury or disease.
In most states, you have to be at least 18 years old to write a legally binding will. If you happen to inherit a large sum at a young age, you would have to get permission to make a will. There are also exceptions for underage members of the military, emancipated minors and married people, as well as variances in Lousiana and Georgia.
When writing a will, you must make your intent clear by including phrases like “this is my last will and testament” in the document. If this isn’t done, your document will not carry any legal weight and be rejected in a court of law.
You must also be of “sound mind” at the time of the will’s creation, meaning that you understand what you are doing and what is happening to your property. If you are concerned about the will being contested due to sanity or illness, you can have a doctor attest to your mental fitness when you write your will.
When you sign your will, it must be signed freely and of your own will, without being influenced or coerced. If your will is later considered fraudulent due to outside influence at the time of signing, the contents will be legally null and void.
Finally, you must sign your will personally in the presence of at least two witnesses to make it legally binding. Your witnesses should also be “disinterested,” meaning that they do not stand to benefit from the will.
Writing A Living Will
Despite sounding similar to regular wills, a living will is a specific document that is only used if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Also known as advanced health care directives, a living will allows you to determine your medical directives and burial preferences in advance. Unlike a last will and testament that only matters after death, a living will takes effect while you are still alive.
This includes whether or not to perform resuscitation and any end of life treatments you want or don’t want. State requirements for a living will vary, so you should consult a lawyer to ensure that your living will meet legal muster.
Better Sooner Than Later
Given the unpredictability of life, it only makes sense to prepare for every eventuality. Whether you want a last will and testament or want help writing a living will, check out In News Weekly today!