What is a Living Will and What Do I Need for My Living Will?

A living will is quite different from a last will and testament used to distribute a person’s asset after death. Instead, a living will is a document that contains all of the preferences, requests, and direction of an individual regarding their death and the medical treatments they want to receive in the event of serious illness.


Creating a living will is a vital part of your estate planning process. The guidance and instruction provided in a living will can help your family and medical professionals make important decisions regarding your health. Living wills are used when the person in concern is in no condition to express their wishes verbally. Let’s take a closer look at what’s involved with a living will.


What Is a Living Will?


A living will is a vital component of a thorough estate plan, especially if the planner is terminally ill and suffering immense pain. A living will helps family and other decision-makers avoid court procedures and conflicts when attempted to make medical decisions on your behalf. It also gives your family peace of mind that they are making decisions as you would wish.

Through a living will following medical decisions can be made:


  • Tissue and Organ Donation: Whether the individual wants their organs or tissues donated after death should be stated clearly in the living will. A living will ensures that no decision is taken against the preference of the deceased. In addition, you will relieve your family or friends from making these decisions on your behalf because everything will be detailed as you wish.
  • Ventilation: Whether or not an individual wants to be put on a mechanical ventilator in severe medical circumstances is also stated in the living. The living will can also indicate when and how a person would like to be treated with life-saving measures.
  • CPR: Basic resuscitation through CPR is also a choice that can be stated in the living will.
  • Tube Feeding: Tube feeding is a process through which fluids and nutrients are provided to a person via a tube. Many individuals include specific details like these in their living will.
  • Life Support: Finally, most living wills include a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) clause if the individual does not want to be placed on life-saving machines in the event of an accident or a life-threatening illness.


Living wills are even more important in the difficult times of the recent COVID pandemic. With respirators so prevalent during the pandemic, many people realized that they have specific preferences for specific medical treatment. Apart from these specific wishes, you can include any particular desires you want to be considered if you are incapacitated. As a result, many more people have decided to draft living wills.


What Do I Need for a Living Will?


While you don’t always have to hire a lawyer or legal advisor for a living will, it is undoubtedly advised. Every country and state has different requirements when it comes to preparing a living will. You can easily find living will document at local hospitals, senior centers or by talking to your medical provider. A reliable probate attorney will help ensure that your document is legally prepared to ensure your wishes are met.


Contact a Reliable Lancaster Probate Attorney


Need help creating a living will? Our reliable Lancaster probate attorneys are here to help! Contact Derryberry and Associates to discuss your options.