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A Pennsylvania Living Will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding health care, such as your refusal or acceptance of a certain medical treatment, along with the (optional)... Read more

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Making a Living Will in Pennsylvania

  • What is a Pennsylvania Living Will?

    A Pennsylvania Living Will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding health care, such as your refusal or acceptance of a certain medical treatment, along with the (optional) appointment of a trusted healthcare decision maker or "agent."

    The individual making a Living Will is known as the "principal," while the person or organization receiving permission to carry out the principal's wishes is called the "agent." Designed for Pennsylvania residents, this Living Will can be used in Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Allegheny County, and in every other county or municipality throughout the state. Any Pennsylvania Living Will form from Rocket Lawyer can be tailored for your specific situation. This essential document will provide verification of your decisions to healthcare institutions, and it will certify that your selected representatives have been given the authority to act in your interest.

  • How do I write a Living Will in Pennsylvania?

    It is fast and easy to record your medical preferences using a free Pennsylvania Living Will template from Rocket Lawyer:

    1. Make your Living Will - Answer a few basic questions, and we will do the rest
    2. Send and share - Review the document with your healthcare agent(s) or seek legal help
    3. Sign and make it legal - Required or not, witnesses/notarization are recommended

    This route, in many cases, will end up being notably less expensive and less time-consuming than working with your average law firm. If necessary, you may prepare this Living Will on behalf of your spouse, an elderly parent, or another relative, and then have that person sign after you've drafted it. Please note that for this document to be considered legally valid, the principal must be mentally competent when they sign. If the principal is already incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions, a conservatorship generally will be required. When managing such a scenario, it would be important to speak to an attorney.

  • Do I need to have a Living Will?

    Anyone who is over 18 ought to have a Living Will in place. Even though it is difficult to think about, there might come a time when you cannot make important decisions on your own. Here are some typical occasions in which you might find it useful to make or update your Living Will:

    • You have been given a terminal diagnosis
    • You are expecting to undergo a medical procedure that requires anesthesia
    • You have plans to move into a residential care facility
    • You are aging or have declining health

    Whether your Pennsylvania Living Will has been drafted as part of a forward-looking plan or created as a result of a recent change in your health, notarization and/or witnesses can help to protect your agent if their privileges and authority are questioned by a third party. Please note that in Pennsylvania, a Living Will is not valid when the principal is pregnant.

  • Do I need a lawyer to review my Living Will in Pennsylvania?

    Making a Living Will is normally straightforward, but you or your agent(s) may still need legal advice. It may depend on whom you ask, but often, some lawyers won't even agree to review your document if they were not the author. An easier approach might be through the On Call attorney network. As a Premium member, you can ask for advice from an attorney with relevant experience or get answers to additional questions related to your Living Will. As always, Rocket Lawyer is here for you.

  • What might I typically pay for a lawyer to help me make a Living Will in Pennsylvania?

    The cost of hiring a traditional legal provider to write a Living Will might be anywhere between $200 and $1,000, depending on where you are located. Different from many other sites that you may come across, Rocket Lawyer offers more than a Living Will template. If you ever require assistance from a lawyer, your Premium membership provides up to a 40% discount when you hire an On Call attorney.

  • Would I have to do anything else after I have written a Pennsylvania Living Will?

    After completing this document with Rocket Lawyer, you'll be able to open it anytime and anywhere. You may also take any or all of these actions related to your document: editing it, printing it out, or signing it. Alongside your Pennsylvania Living Will form, there is a set of helpful tips to follow while finalizing your document. Make sure to provide a final copy of your fully signed document to your agent(s) and care providers.

  • Does a Living Will need to be notarized or witnessed in Pennsylvania?

    The guidelines for Living Wills will be different by state; however, in Pennsylvania, your document usually needs to be signed by two witnesses. The principal may sign by signature or by mark, or they may direct another person to sign on their behalf. Where applicable, the witnesses to a Living Will must not include the person who signed the document on your behalf. As a general principle, your witnesses will need to be over the age of 18, and none should simultaneously be acting as your agent.

    Pennsylvania Living Will Laws: Penn. Stat. § 54-5442(b)

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