People are always talking about living will – I need a living will, you need a living will, etc… What is that all about? The Google definition of ‘legal will’ gives us the following:
A living will, also called a directive to physicians or advance directive, is a document that lets people state their wishes for end-of-life medical care, in case they become unable to communicate their decisions. It has no power after death.
The living will is the oldest form of advance directive. It was first proposed by an Illinois attorney, Luis Kutner, in a law journal in 1969. Kutner drew from existing estate law, by which an individual can control property affairs after death (i.e., when no longer available to speak for himself or herself) and devised a way for an individual to express his or her health care desires when no longer able to express current healthcare wishes. Because this form of “will” was to be used while an individual was still alive (but no longer able to make decisions) it was dubbed the “living will.” In the U.S.A., The Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) went into effect in December 1991, and required healthcare providers (primarily hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies) to give patients information about their rights to make advance directives under state law.
It is basically a document that gives voice to your desire for care for you in the case when you cannot speak for yourself. When would you need a living will?
Here are Tom Brokaw and his daughter, Jennifer Brokaw, discussing living wills and how unprepared many people are to handle life’s less glamorous eventualities:
And here is a funnier take on a generally-unfunny subject:
Luckily it is very easy to create a living will – there are many on-line companies specializing in the preparation of legal documents for individuals. Here are two excellent options for getting a living will set up on-line in minutes:
(10% discount by clicking on this link)
(click on a logo to set up a living will with the company - these are affiliate links for which this site gets a small percentage to help defray the costs of maintaining it. we really appreciate you helping us in this small manner!)