Living wills

A living will is a legal document, stating who will take care of your financial, medical and personal business when you can no longer make decisions for yourself. It is a strictly personal document, and you can choose yourself whom will be taking care of your business and how this person will do that when the time is there. Having a living will is important and practical; it makes sure that you remain in control of your own life and your wishes will be followed.

In the Netherlands, it is common that the living will exists out of two proxies. One contains your financial interests, and the other your medical and personal business. However, every individual has the option to choose differently. A living will is not obligatory, nor is the (order of) content. Do keep in mind that banks and doctors only want one person, your confidential representative, as a contact. You can too freely choose who this contact will be, but make sure it is someone who you trust deeply.

A living will must be drawn-up by a civil-law notary, yet co-signed. You will get a copy of the original deed. Also, only the notary and you will know the content of the living will. You can decide yourself if you want to inform more people about the content of it. Because it is an official legal document, the notary will always file the existence of it at the Central Register of Living Wills (CLTR). In this way, doctors, banks and other stakeholders can check if you have a living will.

Your living will cannot expire, but you can always adjust it, as long as you are capable of expressing your wishes, which the notary is obliged to assess.

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