DENVER — There’s a lot for new parents to do before the baby arrives, and one thing experts say sometimes slips through the cracks is for expectant moms to set up a living will.

These documents basically direct medical professionals about what a mother would want them to do should she slip into a coma or become incapacitated in some other way.

“This is an instrument that is designed to help families at the most difficult time,” 9NEWS Legal Expert Dr. Whitney Traylor said. “The more that the decedent has put in writing will make the process that much easier for family.”

A living will dictates things like how long a mother will stay on life support, or if should doctors should prioritize her or the baby. Expectant moms are also encouraged to set up a “healthcare power of attorney” – which essentially designates someone to be their voice if they cannot speak for themselves.

Traylor recommends that everyone update their living wills and other documents for every life event, from children being born to a new marriage. He also said it’s not a bad idea to check on them every five to 10 years since your assets are always fluctuating.

“It’s uncomfortable,” Traylor said. “People don’t like to talk about these things, but it is super important and there are a lot of good resources out there, a lot of good lawyers out there to help you draft these documents.”

Parents will also want to complete a will which designates what will happen to your assets should you pass away. You can designate who would become the guardian of your children. This would be especially important for single parents, but couples too, in case something should happen to both parents.

It is recommended that you create a Last Will if:

  • You have specific people in mind who you would like to leave certain gifts to.
  • You think there may be disputes or confusion regarding the distribution of your estate.
  • You have children or pets and want to name a potential guardian for after you pass away.
  • You have no living relatives and do not want your property to go to the state.

You can find a template for a living will  and Last Will and testament in Colorado here: https://bit.ly/2RIkFfI

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