When you could be at your most vulnerable, ensure important health care decisions are explained clearly with a Living Will Form. You can create a Free Living Will with our template designer.
Last Update March 25th, 2023
Medical Power of Attorney: it gives an agent the authority to make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated.
Living Will: it allows an individual to state preferences for medical treatment, focusing on end-of-life decisions.
Advance Directive: it includes the instructions collected in a Living Will and in a Medical Power of Attorney.
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- What Is a Living Will
- What Should You Include in Your Living Will
- How to Make a Living Will
- Living Will Statutory Laws by State
- How to Write a Living Will
- What is the Difference Between a Living Will and a Will
- Advance Directive vs Living Will
- Living Will Sample
- FAQs About Living Wills
Download our professional examples
What Is a Living Will
The purpose of a Living Will, or Health Care Directive or Advance Directive, is to permit you to be in charge of your medical treatments for end-of-life medical care.
There may be a moment when you become incapacitated and cannot reach any decisions for your health. Planning for such a moment is crucial while possible.
By writing a Living Will, you as the “declarant” can ask for or refuse certain medical treatments. What that means for you is that doctors will know whether to perform any life-saving procedures or not.
What Should You Include in Your Living Will
There are different decisions regarding situations where you feel life-saving measures are necessary or, perhaps, you would prefer to pass on peacefully.
You may wish to have a religious leader by your side in your final moments.
You may also want to choose someone you can rely on to make any important medical decisions.
Adding these terms helps you feel more comfortable about your future and any unfortunate situation.
How to Make a Living Will
Quite a few accidents or diseases can leave us needing life-saving or life-sustaining medical attention. It is an unfortunate part of life, however, it is something we need to plan for.
That is why LawDistrict provides a template that makes the process much easier, especially if you want to provide clarity to medical personnel and your family if you ever find yourself in that situation.
Choosing Between Treatment Options
Deciding what medical treatment or procedures you’d want if you cannot eat or breathe on your own is one of the most important parts of creating your Living Will.
The best way of deciding on what treatments you would accept or refuse is to discuss it with your family.
Electing End-of-Life Options
Apart from medical decisions, there are other possibilities that you can choose from.
For instance, you may request that a spiritual leader, such as a priest or rabbi, be present to read you your last rights.
Planning on funeral arrangements is also recommended.
Deciding on a Health Care Agent
Choosing to include a health care agent is advisable, as you may need someone who can advise your family on certain choices. For instance,
Judgments based on your chance of survival
Judgments based on your preferences
Living Will Statutory Laws by State
Each state has specific signing requirements and laws regarding Living Wills that you must follow.
If you wish to write a Living Will, have a look at your state’s requirements below.
|State||Signing Requirements||Statute Law|
|Alabama||Two Witnesses||§ 22-8A-4|
|Alaska||No Witnesses required||§ 13.52.010|
|Arizona||One Witness or Notary||§ 36-3262|
|Arkansas||Two Witnesses||§ 20-17-202|
|California||Two Witnesses or Notary||§ 4701|
|Colorado||Two Witnesses||§ 15-18-104|
|Connecticut||Two Witnesses||§ 19a-575|
|Delaware||Two Witnesses||§ 2505|
|Florida||Two Witnesses||§ 765.303|
|Georgia||Two Witnesses||§ 31-32-4|
|Hawaii||Two Witnesses or Notary||§ 327E-3|
|Idaho||No Witnesses Required||§ 39-4510|
|Illinois||Two Witnesses||755 ILCS 35|
|Indiana||Two Witnesses||§ 16-36-4-10|
|Iowa||Two Witnesses or a Notary||§ 144A.3|
|Kansas||Two Witnesses or a Notary||§ 65-28,103|
|Kentucky||Two Witnesses or a Notary||§ 311.625|
|Louisiana||Two Witnesses||§ 40:1151.2|
|Maine||Two Witnesses||§ 5-803|
|Maryland||Two Witnesses||§ 5-603|
|Massachusetts||Two Witnesses (For Health Care Proxy)||No statute|
|Michigan||No State Law for Living Will||No statute|
|Minnesota||Two Witnesses or Notary||§ 145C.16|
|Mississippi||Two Witnesses or Notary||§ 41-41-209|
|Missouri||Two Witnesses||§ 459.015|
|Montana||Two Witnesses||§ 50-9-103|
|Nebraska||Two Witnesses||§ 20-404|
|Nevada||Two Witnesses||§ 449A.439|
|New Hampshire||Two Witnesses or Notary||Section 137-J:20|
|New Jersey||Two Witnesses or Notary||Section 26:2H-54|
|New Mexico||No Witnesses Required||§ 24-7A-4|
|New York||Two Witnesses||§ 400.21|
|North Carolina||Two Witnesses and Notary||§ 90-321|
|North Dakota||Two Witnesses or a Notary||§ 23-06.5-17|
|Ohio||Two Witnesses or a Notary||§ 2133.02(A)(1)|
|Oklahoma||Two Witnesses||§ 63-3101.4|
|Oregon||Two Witnesses||§ 127.702|
|Pennsylvania||Two Witnesses||§ 5471|
|Rhode Island||Two Witnesses||§ 23-4.11-3|
|South Carolina||Two Witnesses and Notary||§ 44-77-50|
|South Dakota||Two Witnesses||§ 34-12D-3|
|Tennessee||Two Witnesses or Notary||§ 68-11-1803|
|Texas||Two Witnesses or a Notary||§ 166.033|
|Utah||One Witness||§ 75-2a-117|
|Vermont||Two Witnesses||§ 9703|
|Virginia||Two Witnesses||§ 54.1-2983|
|Washington||Two Witnesses||§ 70.122.030|
|West Virginia||Two Witnesses and a Notary||§ 16-30-4|
|Wisconsin||Two Witnesses||§ 154.03(2)|
|Wyoming||Two Witnesses or a Notary||§ 35-22-403|
How to Write a Living Will
If you feel that it is a wise choice to create a Living Will, then you should know what you need to include in the document.
Here is what should be included in a Living Will:
Principal: Include the principal’s(Patient) name and address
Application of living will: Explains which treatment to withhold or to go ahead with
Further instructions: List any other instructions, such as other treatment requests you feel are necessary
Signature: The signature must fill in the date and sign
Statement & signature of witnesses: Witnesses sign a declaration stating that everyone is of sound mind
Statement & signature of Notary Public: If necessary, a notary public also signs the document
What is the Difference Between a Living Will and a Will
A Will, or Last Willand Testament, is an important document for adults to consider.
While the name may be similar, a Will and a Living Will have some key differences, such as when the terms of the will come into force.
One document is made to carry out your decisions before death and one is made to carry out your decisions after death.
|Living Will||Last Will and Testament|
|Preferences for medical treatments||Who receives your possessions after death|
|Terminates upon death||How your children are taken care of after death|
Advance Directive vs Living Will
Depending on the state that you live in, both an Advance Directive and a Living Will could be used interchangeably. Some states use only one of the terms and not the other.
Both, an Advance Directive and Living Will are used to decide your health care if needed.
Advance Directives not only include a Living Will, but also a Medical Power of Attorney.
This means that Advance Directives include not only your treatment preferences, but also give authority to the person you choose to make medical decisions on your behalf.
Living Will Sample
Before making your own document, it would be helpful to see a sample. Get an idea of what your document should look like with our Living Will example.
FAQs About Living Wills
If you still have doubts about how to create your own Living Will, don’t worry. We have information on the most common questions about this important legal document below.
How Much does a Living Will Cost?
Lawyer fees for a Living Will range anywhere from $200 to $1,000 depending on where you live.
With LawDistrict you can benefit from a . It is simple to make, and you can do it at a much lower price than what a lawyer would ask.
While you are planning for the future, don’t let cost get in the way of your peace of mind.
How to Make a Living Will Without a Lawyer
Once you know the preferences of healthcare that you want to include in your Living Will, you can use our expert legal guidance as well as create your own .
Living Will vs Living Trus
A Living Trust is more concerned with your possessions than your health.
It is used to select a trustee to manage your assets if you become incapacitated. This person can then distribute your possessions after your death.