Of all the pre-planning that expectant moms do for their impending arrivals, one thing that’s seldom on their to-do list is to see an estate planning attorney before they give birth. Legal analysts suggest that they maybe should schedule a visit with one, though.
One reason that you may want to see an estate planning attorney if you’re pregnant is to draft a living will. This is a critical document that will help your medical team know what your final wishes are if you were to become incapacitated during your pregnancy or to develop a life-threatening condition during childbirth.
In case you’re unfamiliar with what a living will is, it’s a document in which you detail your medical wishes. It may include such information as to whether you’d want your doctors to prioritize your baby’s life over yours or if you would be comfortable being put on life support and for how long.
By drafting a health care power of attorney during your pregnancy, you can give a trusted family member or friend an ability to voice your medical care preferences on your behalf.
One thing to keep in mind, though, about your living will is that you shouldn’t just simply draft it and then never look at it again. You should instead revisit every few years to make sure that it’s aligned with your preferences. You should also review it if you get divorced, remarried, have an additional child or if some other big event happens in your life.
While you’re at your estate attorney’s office, you should also have them help you draft your last will outlining what your guardianship preferences would be for your child and who you’d like to leave your assets to. If you fail to draft this, then your belongings will be divided up by a probate judge in accordance with Colorado state law.
If you’re wondering whether you need a living will, then an estate planning attorney can advise why you should have one and explain why everyone should have medical power of attorney documents.