A living will also known as an advance health care directive is a legal paper/document in which someone specifies which action(s) should be taken for their health since they have become incapable of making such decisions as a result of ill health. It has a legal status in itself in the US unlike in some countries where it just seen as a legal document.

A living will contains instructions for treatment. Also an attorney can authorize someone (an agent) to make decisions on behalf of the person that is incapacitated when they are ill.

Creating a Living Will

A living will varies depending on the state, so you may need a lawyer to draft your living will. Many lawyers who practice in the area of estate planning include a living will and a health care power of attorney in their package of estate planning documents. If you need to write or update a will or trust, you can take care of your living will at the same time.

How To Make Your Own Living Will

You can create a living will without paying an attorney by using reputable estate planning software.

How It Works?

Generally, it describes certain life prolonging treatments. The declarant has to indicate which treatments they want or do not want applied to them in the event they suffer from a terminal illness. A living will is only effective when the declarant is incapacitated.

A certification by the declarant’s doctor and another doctor is needed which shows that he/she is either suffering from a terminal illness or permanently unconscious before a living will become effective as well.