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What is a living will?

There are different types of wills that you may have in Michigan. One of those is a living will, which is defined by U.S. News and World Report as document that states your wishes on how your health care should be handled if you become incapacitated and unable to express what you want. A living will is often called an advance health care directive.

In a living will, you may appoint someone to act as the person who makes decisions for you when you cannot do it yourself. You may state express wishes, such as not wishing to be put on life support. It can help ensure that your family is not left making difficult decisions since you have already laid things out in the document.

Creating this document can be done as part of your estate planning. You can have it drawn up by your attorney or you can create it yourself. It will need to be signed and witnessed, just as with any legal document. It is difficult to enforce a document that is not legally drawn up.

Having a living will is not mandatory, but it is a good idea. It allows you to stay in control even if you cannot cognately express them. It spares your family from having to make hard choices about your care when you are severely ill or injured as well.  It gives a clear directive that health care personnel and your family have to follow. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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