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Living Will

A Living Will discusses feelings about life-sustaining care or treatments. Many lawyers include a Living Will as part of their estate planning packages.

What is a Living Will?

A Living Will ensures your end-of-life wishes are carried out, preserving your dignity and may be best described as a Will for the living. A Living Will, one type of advance directive, provides direction to health care providers regarding end-of-life treatment choices. The Living Will is only used when the maker (principal) is incapacitated and unable to give informed consent or refusal. Though a Living Will may forbid the use of certain medical treatments to prolong life, it also provides the option for maximum life-sustaining treatment. In any event, health care providers are directed to take reasonable measures to keep the principal comfortable and to relieve pain.

A well drafted Living Will allows the principal to be very specific as to the circumstances under which he or she wishes to refuse treatment. The maker / principal of a Living Will may choose to refuse life-sustaining treatment OR receive maximum treatment in the event of:

        1. An irreversible coma or persistent vegetative state.
        2. A terminally ill condition where life-sustaining procedures would only serve to artificially delay death.
        3. A medical condition in which the burdens of treatment outweigh the expected benefits.

Two doctors are usually required  to certify a terminal illness or persistent vegetative state.

Although a Living Will addresses important end-of-life events, it may be insufficient in addressing many health care decisions. The limitations of a Living Will resulted in the development of the health care proxy, also known as a health care power of attorney, which appoints a person to make health care decisions during a period of incapacity or disability.

Provide a copy of your Living Will to your doctor, hospital and appropriate family members. A Living Will is not a replacement for and should not be incorporated into a last will and testament.

Living Wills
Alabama Living Will
Alaska Living Will
Arizona Living Will
Arkansas Living Will
California Living Will
Colorado Living Will
Connecticut Living Will
Delaware Living Will
DC Living Will
Florida Living Will
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Idaho Living Will
Illinois Living Will
Indiana Living Will
Iowa Living Will
Kansas Living Will
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Louisiana Living Will
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Maryland Living Will
Massachusetts Living Will
Michigan Living Will
Minnesota Living Will
Mississippi Living Will
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Tennessee Living Will
Texas Living Will
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Wyoming Living Will