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Updating a living will key to carrying out a person's wishes

Many Minnesota residents enjoy heading South for the Winter to escape the cold weather. For some, this becomes a yearly venture, as the snow-birds take up residence in states with far nicer climates during the Winter months. While this escape can be a relief from the cold weather, it could also present some legal issues when it comes to a person's estate plan if the person does not have the right documents in place.

Take, for instance, a living will, which specifies what treatment the person does or does not desire in the event he or she is unable to communicate his or her wishes. The living will lays out the person's preferences on important health care decisions like resuscitation and quality of life issues. The doctor will then follow the person's wishes when it comes to this medical treatment specified in the living will.

However, issues can potentially arise when a person executes documents like a living will in Minnesota, but then wants them utilized in another state. Conversely, if a person has moved to Minnesota from another state, the person may have outdated documents they executed in the other state.

Different states have different laws when it comes to living wills, among other estate planning documents, and therefore, what works in one state may not suffice in another. In other words, if a person executed a living will in another state, it may not comport with Minnesota's law.

Typically, a living will would still be upheld in the other state, and the person's wishes would be followed. But, to be sure, the person should update the living will and other estate planning documents to ensure they are protected and that the documents will be enforced in the state in which they are living. By contacting a Minnesota estate planning attorney, individuals can rest assured their estate planning documents are up-to-date and in line with current Minnesota law.

Source: AZ Central, "Estate-planning issues explained," Veronica Sanchez, Jan. 11, 2014

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