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ContractsCounsel has assisted 27 clients with living wills and maintains a network of 26 estate planning lawyers available daily.

A lawyer for living will is a licensed attorney with experience in end-of-life planning, popularly known as an estate planning lawyer. A living will lawyer can better educate you on what you must include in your living will. While you might think living wills are more related to seniors, it benefits everyone regardless of age, as unexpected circumstances, such as illness or accidents, can occur at any stage. Therefore, every adult above the age of 18 years should have a living will.

They further assist you in detailing a person's objectives and wishes if they can no longer care or make choices for themselves. In addition, an experienced lawyer for living will guarantee you a legally binding, comprehensive plan that will eliminate confusion, conflict, and undue stress during medical emergencies. Other advantages of working with a lawyer for a living will include the following:

  • A program tailored to fit your requirements.
  • Confidence that the choices you make regarding your living will remain compliant with state and national regulations.
  • Access to a statutory recommendation from a professional who's acquainted with your situation.
  • Insight into the regulations that affect your living will.

What is a Living Will?

A living will, often known as an advance health care directive, is a lawful, written record that comprises your choice for medical supervision if you cannot make choices for yourself. It also includes pain management, organ donation, and funeral arrangements. In addition, a living will direct the options your doctors and caregivers make in the below circumstances:

  • Terminally ill
  • Final stages of dementia
  • Severely injured
  • Coma

In addition, your living will should define the medical treatments you might and might not wish to use. Besides, patients can also make choices for other medical decisions, like pain management. Additionally, when you make a living will, you can guarantee that you obtain the medical attention you want. A living will even assist you in the following:

  • Relieving caregivers of the responsibility of making a challenging decision in a moment of crisis or grief.
  • Reducing confusion or conflict among caregivers and family members about the choices you would like to make.

However, living will only remain effective if you are alive but unfit to communicate. Your living will only become binding once the doctors determine that you are in a painful medical condition, as determined by your state's regulations, and incapable of communicating your desires. Keep in mind the requirements for a living will to become effective can vary in jurisdictions, which is why it is important to speak with a lawyer. A medical professional can generally specify the following:

  • Whether you can interact with your wishes in any way.
  • Whether you have lost your power to make rational choices or comprehend treatment alternatives.

If you make someone in charge of medical choices unrelated to life assistance, your living will only become effective when you can no longer make your judgments.

How Do Lawyers Write a Living Will?

Before writing a living will, the lawyers will initially understand that it will not act as a final will, whereby personal and property belongingness are allotted to others upon a person's demise. A living will define the kind and levels of medical assistance one obtains if incapacitated and the duration. Furthermore, when creating a living will, a lawyer defines the objectives and wishes of an individual if they can no longer make sound choices for themselves.

When creating a living will, attorneys consider how you wish to combine your individual or religious viewpoints into the medical care offered by doctors. Hence lawyers also find it beneficial to separate the living will into caregiving categories that many people find beneficial. They could initially define the occurrences in which medical care should remain extended to safeguard life and what kinds of preserving care or life-saving, such as dialysis or blood transfusions, should be aided. Next, attorneys try to comprise a classification to address whether you wish to care if a person is unconscious or vegetative.

They define where you want medical supervision: home, nursing home, or other facilities. Another category that lawyers consider including in a living will is pain management and determining the levels and kinds of treatment to address pain. Attorneys can further break down this classification into life-sustaining pain administration instead of life-sustaining supervision. Lastly, they enlist the legal perspective, write dispute settlement provisions, and assist you in making decisions for the best possible results.

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Is Living Will and Advance Directive the Same?

While advanced directives are a collection of documents, a living will can be one of the documents included in an advance directive. In addition, a living will is known by different phrases in different states, and often, the word living will is employed interchangeably with advance directives. Therefore, one must always ensure that their state refers to these documents lawfully when drafting their living will. Other phrases used in a living will include the following:

  • Directive to medical professionals
  • Statement regarding life-prolonging approaches
  • Advance health care directive

Complete advance directives may comprise several records:

  • The living will itself
  • A DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order
  • Instructions for organ or tissue donations
  • The medical power of attorney
  • Specific instructions regarding a previously diagnosed disease

Key Terms

  • A Living Will: A living will is a statutory record detailing the kind and level of medical supervision one likes to obtain if one cannot make choices or express their wishes when care is required.
  • DNR: A DNR is a lawfully binding ruling from a medical professional stating they will take no steps to restart your heart or restore breathing if you experience cardiac or respiratory arrest.
  • Durable Power of Attorney: This document can allow your agent to enter into economic transactions and make other statutory choices as if they were you.
  • Living Trust: A living trust deals with the assets and property of an incapacitated individual, and the trust practically becomes the new owner of the said assets.


To sum up, making a living will demand critical thinking about complicated decisions. Furthermore, a living will handle multiple procedures and treatments, such as ventilation, resuscitation, and dialysis. Therefore, instead of creating a living will by yourself, hire a professional attorney at Contracts Counsel who can help you create a detailed one, ensuring your wishes are clear.

ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.

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