A Living Will states your wishes regarding life support in the event that you cannot communicate your end-of-life wishes yourself. Your Living Will only comes into effect if you are in a persistent vegetative state or irreversible coma and can no longer make and communicate your own wishes. A Living Will spares your family the anguish of making life-support decisions without your input. A Living Will also ensures that your doctor understands your end-of-life wishes and treats you accordingly.

Get started Start Your Living Will Answer some questions. We’ll take care of the rest.

Any person over age 18 may (and should) create a Living Will. Common reasons that individuals create a Living Will include:
  • Declining health
  • To designate a specific person to make health care decisions for you
  • The possibility of surgery or hospitalization
  • Desire to state your wishes so that it is more likely that they will be carried out
  • Diagnosis of a terminal condition with no hope of recovery
Living Wills can be very specific or very general. Living Wills that are too general may not provide sufficient direction and serve only to create confusion and conflict between medical personnel, your health care agent, and your loved ones. More specific Living Wills are preferred. These are shown to be most successful when they include informed, thoughtful reflection on your wishes and values supported by personal communication between you and your health care agent before a medical crisis occurs.

Recently, Living Wills have moved away from focusing on specific treatments and medical procedures to focus on patient values, personal goals, and health outcome states. For example, a Living Will might: designate an agent to make care decisions; dictate what kind of life support treatment that patient does or does not want; discuss pain management, personal grooming and bathing instructions; address how the patient wants to be treated, including religious, spiritual, and emotional support; and detail funeral or memorial plans.

Create your Living Will with Rocket Lawyer. If you have questions, contact an estate planning attorney.


Get started Start Your Living Will Answer some questions. We’ll take care of the rest.

Get started Start Your Living WillAnswer some questions. We’ll take care of the rest.