A Living Will is like a Health Care Proxy agreement in that it is a document that provides written instruction about your wished regarding health care. It is usually drafted as a complimentary directive to a Health Care Proxy agreement and stipulates what must be done in the event of the Principal becoming incapacitated by being terminally ill or in a persistent vegetative state.
The Living Will gives directives under which conditions life-support can be terminated. It can serve as a guide for the Agent (chosen under the Health Care Proxy agreement, if any) and the medical institution when such cases arise. In the event when there is no Health Care proxy, the Living Will acts as a standalone document detailing your wishes regarding health care decisions.
Just like a Health Care Proxy, a Living Will comes into effect upon the incapacitation of the Principal. It is also not set in stone and can be revoked or reviewed depending on the wishes and needs of the Principal. A Living Will is not a substitute for a Health Care Proxy or any other medical directive. It only indicates your wishes concerning the continuation or termination of life-support in cases of terminal illness or persistent coma and vegetative states.
In cases where our clients do not have anyone trustworthy to assign Health Care Proxy responsibilities to, we advise that they draft a Living Will to express their health care wishes.
At Steffy Law P.C., we can offer valuable advice on how to draft a Living Will document as with or without a complimentary Health Care Proxy agreement.