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Making a Living Will
A Living Will is a legal document that tells medical staff and first responders your wishes regarding what life-saving measures you do and do not want to save or prolong your life. 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 also covers the end-of-life pain management and comfort measures you want administered during the closing phase of your life. It ensures that your doctor understands your end-of-life wishes and treats you accordingly. The Rocket Lawyer Living Will also includes the option of appointing a healthcare agent to make sure your wishes are implemented.
Making a Living Will is not difficult, but you will need to make some important decisions to complete the document. Rocket Lawyer will generate the legal language for you based on how you answer a few critical questions.
A Living Will outlines your healthcare choices in relation to a number of different medical scenarios. Decisions you will need to make may include:
Whether or not you want life-sustaining procedures withheld or withdrawn if you are in a persistent vegetative state.
Whether or not you want certain conditions to be met before life-prolonging care is withheld or withdrawn.
Whether or not you consent to medical research or the donation of your organs.
You may also include any unique or special requests.
A Living Will that includes informed, thoughtful reflection on your specific wishes and values should also be supported by personal communication between you and your health care agent before a medical crisis occurs.
It's important that your family members and care providers know your preferences for end-of-life care. When you have a Living Will, you're making your wishes clear. It's difficult to think about potentially devastating situations, but preparation is key. If you haven't put your choices in writing, your family members may be forced to make tough decisions for you.
Any person over age 18 may create a Living Will. Common reasons that individuals create a Living Will include:
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.
A Living Will concerns medical decisions to be made while you are alive whereas a Will (Last Will and Testament) typically concerns the distribution of your assets and guardianship of your minor children after you pass away.
A Living Will typically has a more narrow focus and directly communicates your end-of-life healthcare decisions, while a Durable Power of Attorney grants authority to an agent to make decisions and take action on your behalf, such as managing your finances, your real estate, or your business. Similar to a Living Will, a Durable Power of Attorney is valid even after you are no longer able to communicate or make decisions on your own.
With Rocket Lawyer, you can make a living will for free, compared to the costly option of hiring an estate planning attorney who might charge hundreds of dollars in hourly attorneys' fees, or in the thousands for a flat fee.
Once you've made your Living Will, you can access it anytime, anywhere, on any device. As a Rocket Lawyer Premium member, you can copy your Living Will, edit or print it out to sign and give to your primary care provider and family members. Keep in mind that many states require this document to be notarized. If your state has an end-of-life wishes database, you can also upload your Living Will there.
Yes. Simply select your state from the menu above, or choose a specific state from the list below: