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A Guide For New Parents on How To Write A Living Will

Making a living will is probably not as much fun as filling up a baby registry when you’re a new parent. It might, however, be the first step toward becoming a parent. There’s no right or wrong moment to prepare a living will. Even so, putting one together as soon as possible, especially if you have children, will ensure that they are cared for and provided for in the event that one of you suffers an emergency. 

While creating a will is a straightforward procedure, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Here are some things to think about if you’re a new parent and want to make a living will, or find yourself asking, “How do I write a will?”     

What Is a Living Will, and Why Is It Important?

In the case of an emergency, a living will, also known as an Advance or Personal Directive, is documentation that you use to outline your personal health care intentions. You can list your preferences for resuscitation and comfort care in a living Will, as well as appoint an individual or attorney to carry out your wishes. 

You can establish these documents in Canada following your province’s requirements to legally designate a caregiver or representative to make choices regarding your healthcare. Additionally, they provide direction to physicians on issues such as whether or not you wish to be placed on the life support machines. 

A living will should be written by new parents since it’s just as vital as insurance. Even if you think you’ll never end up needing it, knowing you’re protected is essential. A living will prevents your friends and family from making tough decisions in an emergency and gives you influence over important decisions. 

A living will isn’t simply for those who are nearing the end of their lives. Emergencies may strike anybody at any time and age. They can put families in difficult situations when they occur. When you make a living will, you’re not only looking out for your own mental health, you’re also providing for your loved ones’ mental health. 

What To Include in a Living Will?

If you’re writing a comprehensive living will, make sure to include all of the details that will give you peace of mind. You want to be sure that you’ll be cared for in the best way. The following are the most critical questions to address in your living will.

Who will make decisions on your behalf?

This individual serves as your “lawyer,” “advisor” or “proxy.” The majority of individuals pick a member of their family, such as adult children or a spouse.

What authority level will your representative have?

You can indicate whether your representative should have the following decision-making authority:

  • Specific and circumscribed authority.
  • Subject to your orders; you have complete authority.
  • You have complete control and the power to defy your orders.

This might include your religious considerations or personal preferences, so keep the following in mind:

  • Medical treatment that extends one’s life – CPR, Blood transfusions, medications, dialysis, the use of a respirator, and surgery are all examples of this.
  • Food and hydration – When intravenous fluids are given to some patients, they can survive an extended period. Some people would like to do that, while others wouldn’t.
  • Palliative care – a term that refers to the treatment of patients who are undergoing life-prolonging therapies to provide pain relief.

What happens to my loved ones while I’m incapacitated? 

You should convey your care instructions to your minor children while you’re disabled. This is distinct from the directions in your final will and testament, which only take effect after your death.

How To Make a Living Will in Canada

When you become new parents, you should write your wills as soon as possible following your child’s birth. If you have additional children or experience a significant life change, such as going through a divorce or the death of a spouse, you should update your will. Let’s have a look at how to write a will in the section below. 

Things you should consider when preparing your will as new parents: 

  • Have a qualified executor or someone who will carry out your desires as stated in the will.
  • Make a list of all your possessions and obligations. You essentially need to know everything you own and what needs to be settled if you die.
  • Decide how your assets will be distributed and who will acquire your estate.
  • Consult with your designated guardian to ensure that they know your wishes and are willing to care for your children after your death.
  • In addition to a will, consider having a “living will.” This gives you control over your medical care at the end of your life. Because the regulations for living wills differ from state to state, your estate attorney can assist you in preparing the paperwork together with your will.
  • If you have questions regarding estate taxes, you should speak with a financial advisor or a tax attorney. This is also useful if you have a large or complicated estate.
  • Make a will with the help of a family lawyer that follows your preferences and the laws of your state.
  • You must sign the will in the presence of two witnesses who aren’t listed in the will. It’s also a good idea to get it notarized.

Every Canadian province has varied procedures for creating officially recognized living wills, and the title of this documentation varies as well. In general, each province allows you to lawfully designate a representative for healthcare choices and offer precise medical care directives. An attorney can help you decide what to write in a will.

What To Consider When Assigning a Representative on Your Living Will

Proximity While you don’t have to select someone who resides in your state, location should be one factor you examine. The truth is that the person you name may be required to spend weeks or months at your bedside, ensuring that medical staff follows your healthcare preferences.
Trustworthiness Someone you trust should be named as your proxy. You should feel comfortable expressing your intentions to them.
Assertiveness Remember that your proxy may have to struggle to uphold your desires against an obstinate medical system and family members who may be motivated by their own interests. Make sure your proxy is a strong-willed individual.
Willingness While your representative doesn’t have to agree with your wishes, you should feel that they respect your rights and will act on your wishes in your absence.

 

Pro Tip

“Answering all these questions before proceeding with the adoption to ensure that you’re really ready.”

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Contact Experienced Family Law Lawyers From Gelman & Associates

One of the most crucial papers that new parents may create during their parenting journey is a living will. Even so, you may not know how to write a living will. Having a legitimate, up-to-date living will is essential for keeping control over your assets, ensuring that your children, spouse and other family members and loved ones are cared for. It should establish a precise method for distributing your assets after your death. 

Our experienced attorneys at Gelman & Associates have helped thousands of clients plan for the future, including estate planning, succession planning and drafting wills. In order to provide the highest quality of legal assistance, we take the time to listen to each of our client’s specific directions and concerns. 

We genuinely care about you and your family, and we’ll do everything possible to ensure that all of your requirements are satisfied.

FAQs on a Guide for New Parents on How To Write a Living Will

Incapacitation occurs when medical professionals and a court determine that you’re mentally unable to handle your own affairs, such as managing your estate or making choices for yourself.

Your living will simply expresses your desires for medical care and doesn’t require you to choose someone to act as your personal agent.

While a person is alive, a will doesn’t need to be filed in court to be legal. The only time a will has to be documented is when the person who wrote it dies; then, the will must be submitted with the Clerk of the Court to begin the formalities.

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