How to Set Up a Living Will

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When estate planning, a living will only handles 'pulling the plug' in case of incapacity or terminal illness. Learn how to set up a living will from an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.

Part of the Video Series: Estate Planning
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Video Transcript

So how do you set up a living will? Again a living will is different from a living trust. A living trust manages money, a living will is the pull the plug document. It tells your family when you are ready to go at what point it's ok for them to let you go. You can set up a living will a couple of different ways. Unlike living trusts, you don't necessarily need a lawyer to set up a living will for you. Lots of states have pre-drawn forms. In Texas where I practice and in other states, the legislature has said, this is a prototypic living will. You can find it in statutes books and lots of hospitals have them. Some doctors office have them. Where you can go, they've got a form, you sign it, typically it needs to be witnessed. Sometimes in some places it needs to be initialed. But there are forms out there that you can access, go by your clinic and ask them where you might be able to get one. This would be one of the few things, and one of the very few things that I would ever recommend somebody getting maybe off of a software program. Ok it's one of the few things frankly a software program won't screw up. Most things software programs will screw up, but this is one thing that would be pretty hard for them to screw up. So get a hold of a software program that has a living will form for your state and every state is going to be different, but get one for your state, then it should work just fine. The most important thing with a living will is to let your family know and it let's them know when it's ok to let you go, so they don't have the anxs, they don't have the frustration, they don't have the fighting of whether it's time to let you go or not. So if you can get one of these things, fairly inexpensively maybe free, look around, check around but make sure it's from your own state.

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