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How to Write a Living Will?

How to Write a Living Will?

By 

Jennifer Mcgee

·

Updated on  

January 3, 2023
·

6 Mins

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We know writing a state-specific or valid Living Will can be time and money-consuming. Even the thought of writing a Living Will can be overwhelming, right? 

But not to worry anymore! Here you will find all your answers all your question and the easiest way to create your Living Will in just 20 mins in a few simple steps!!!

So read till the end!

What is a Living Will?

Living Will is a legal document that prescribes the directives to be followed for the medical care and treatment if the testator (maker of a Living Will) becomes incapacitated to expressing their consent or wishes.

Why write a Living Will?

45% of the American population has opted to write a Living Will according to Gallup research in 2020. The kind of treatment procedures one wants on his body is a crucial decision and taking such a decision is exclusively your right. Living Will not only prepares you for future unanticipated health conditions but also receives the burden of taking medical treatment and care decisions from your family, friends, etc. That’s why

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“Should have done this before, had made it up to be really hard in my head. This was super easy!”

Who can make a Living Will?

  • Anyone who has attained the age of majority i.e. 18 years old and
  • A sound mind person may make his Living Will. 

Being old, terminally ill, or in an irreversible coma at the time of making a Living Will is not a precondition, however, there are other Healthcare Directives and documents which can be prepared in these medical situations.

Living Will

What to consider before making a Living Will?: Brainstorming Stage 

So if you are eligible and want to get your exclusive Genie in your hand, this is what you are required to do before starting to make a Living Will:

  • It is advisable to get your full body checkup. If you have any ailment or even a trace in the form of symptoms, get it diagnosed.
  • Look and research all preferable treatments you would like to receive.
  • If you want in-the-hospital treatment or outside-the-hospital treatment.
  • Think of a person who is trustable to be your representative to make the right decisions on your behalf. If you name such a person as your representative or agent then you have to fill another form of Medical Power of Attorney along with the Living Will.
  • From where to cover Medicare or treatment expenses like insurance etc.

If any other concern comes to your mind, ponder over it and make your decision in what way you want your Living Will aka Genie to help you.

How to write a Living Will?: Pre-preparation Stage

1. Talk to your Doctor

If you are done with full body diagnosis in the pre-preparation stage then it's time to visit your Doctor. He can give you expert guidance on your reports or maybe ask you to get further tests and reports done. 

2. Choose a Medical Treatment

Your Doctor might have suggested you many treatments but it is not obligatory to opt for any harsh treatment on your body that you would never prefer. You may choose any other moderate treatment. This is the most important decision. The main objective of making a Living Will is to make your choice and wishes known concerning your comfort for any procedure or treatment even when you’re unable to convey them. The healthcare or medical support to include in a Living Will.

3. See a Lawyer

Although you can easily make a Living Will online which is legal and valid. But sometimes you may need a hand from a Lawyer to make you clear on some legal issues relating to Living Will. 

Make an online Living Will or a traditional Living Will: Preparation Stage

Everything is becoming easier online by sitting in the comfort of your home. You can make a legal document by yourself with a few clicks.

However, if you will go the traditional way, there are different legislatures in every state in the US relating to Living Will and every state has its requirements and forms for the Living Will. Make sure you fulfill those requirements.

-Inform your family

Once you are done with your Living Will, inform your family about your Living Will. Your Family must be fully cognizant of the fact that you have a Living Will so that it can be implemented in the hour of need.

-Supply copies of your Living Will

Give copies of your Living Will to your family members, friends, and close ones. Copies of Living Will should also be supplied to your Doctor, lawyer, or any other relevant and interested person.

Requirements in all the states to write a Living Will?

Every state has different requirements for a valid Living Will. In some states, a witness is required or it should be signed and notarized.  

Likewise, some states consider Living Will and Advance Directive as different and separate documents, whereas others consider both documents the same. In some states, Living Will and Advance Directive are used interchangeably. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to write a Living Will for free?

Nothing comes free. Even if you made a Living Will document for free, you would seek legal advice. Lawyers and attorneys ask for high charges for their services.

How to write a Living Will without a lawyer?

You can make a Living Will online designed by attorneys at reasonable costs though these are not a replacement for legal help. If your situation requires special attention and an attorney to guide you then it is recommended to see a Lawyer.

When does a Living Will take effect?

The Living Will comes into effect on the date when you lose your capacity to express or convey your wishes or make decisions about your treatments before which a Living Will is just like any other legal document.

Does Living Will supersede the Medical Power of Attorney?

Yes, the Living Will will always be preferred over the Medical Power of Attorney. If instructions are not found or clear under Living Will concerning any specific health issue then only the appointed Healthcare agent (an agent who is authorized by the Will maker to make decisions on his behalf) may act.

Does a Living Will need to be notarized?

It depends on the State you belong to, some states have regulations to get it notarised or to be witnessed and signed. Requirements of the States for a Living Will.
Jennifer Mcgee
Parent to five young children. Expert in Estate Planning, Probate, and Family Law Matters. Volunteer with Victim’s Advocates in the local sheriff's department...
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