What is a Living Will?
Many people confuse a living will for a last will and testament. However, a living will is a legal document that allows you to specify your wishes for medical treatment in the event that you become unable to make decisions for yourself due to a terminal illness, unconsciousness, or other incapacitating condition. The purpose of a Living Will is to ensure that your wishes are carried out, even if you are unable to communicate them to your healthcare providers or family members.
A last will and testament is what I term your “rule book” to the Court to give your assets “or stuff” to whom you have chosen and not to distribute your stuff according to State law.
A Living Will typically summarizes your preferences for medical interventions such as life support, pain management, and organ donation.
It is important to note that a Living Will only goes into effect in certain circumstances. It does not supersede your right to make decisions about your own medical care while you are able to do so. It is important to keep your Living Will up to date and to discuss your wishes with your Health Care Proxy and family members to ensure that they are aware of your preferences.