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What Is A Living Will?

Last updated on June 5, 2023

A living will is your written statement about what you would want medically at the end of your life. It applies to what you would want if you had a terminal condition, were in a coma or were in a persistent vegetative state.

Some examples of decisions that you can make with a living will are what type of life-sustaining treatment would you want? CPR? Artificially administered food or fluid? Comfort care only? A living will is your voice in the event that you are unable to communicate.

Many people execute a living will in tandem with a health care power of attorney as part of their estate plan. A health care power of attorney designates your decision-makers in the event that you need help with medical decisions. Your decision-makers would have the ability, for example, to help you with a nursing facility, make decisions about surgeries or make any of the other medical decisions that you might need help with in the event that you are too sick or mentally unable to make such decisions.

If you do not have a living will or a health care power of attorney designated, a court may step in and appoint an agent as your surrogate. It is also possible that health care providers will contact the following people, in this order, who will have the authority to make health care decisions for you:

  1. Your spouse, unless you and your spouse are legally separated
  2. Your adult child
  3. Your parent
  4. Your domestic partner if no other person has assumed any financial responsibility for you
  5. Your brother or sister
  6. Your close friend

Health care powers of attorney and living wills give you control and allow you to make some of the decisions well in advance.

Call Windrose Law Center PLC To Learn More

When creating your estate plan, it is important to understand all the tools that can go into your plan. Our team at Windrose Law Center PLC is here to answer your questions so you fully understand your options. Call 602-857-9386 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.