Writing a Living Will

Writing a Living Will

Most estate planning involves decisions which have a significant financial impact, but now, as a result of life sustaining treatment, a competent adult can have the option of extending life.  Additionally, even someone determined incompetent by the courts or physicians, can refuse life sustaining treatment.  Attorneys who draft legal documents such as living wills are cautioned to comply strictly with the legal requirements.  Local law has specific requirements for living wills as to the form, execution, expiration, and other matters.   A frequent question we receive from clients is who needs a living will.  A living will, truly, is for anyone, healthy or not, who wants to clarify his or her wishes regarding life sustaining support rather than rely on a surrogate to make the decision.  A living will can explicitly state your preference to providing artificial nutrition and hydration and other means to prolong life. 

Your estate planning attorney will be the first place to look for receiving help in writing a living will.  You can often get a living will from your state bar association.  Hospitals can be another source for a living will.  If you spend time in more than one state, then speak with a professional in each state

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