The Living Will: Ensuring Your Medical Wishes Are Respected

The Living Will: Ensuring Your Medical Wishes Are Respected

A Living Will, also known as an advance directive, is a legal document that outlines your medical wishes in the event that you become unable to communicate them yourself. This important document can ensure that your wishes are respected and that you receive the care you want, even if you are unable to express your desires in the moment. In this article, we will discuss the importance of a Living Will and how to create one.

What is a Living Will?

A Living Will is a document that specifies your preferences for medical treatment in the event that you are unable to communicate them yourself. This document is only used if you are unable to make decisions due to an illness or injury that has left you incapacitated. A Living Will is not a Will in the traditional sense, as it does not distribute assets or name an executor. It is solely focused on medical treatment and end-of-life care.

Why Do You Need a Living Will?

There are several reasons why you should have a Living Will. First, it ensures that your medical wishes are respected, even if you are unable to communicate them yourself. If you don't have a Living Will, your family or medical professionals may make decisions on your behalf that do not align with your values and beliefs.

Additionally, a Living Will can relieve some of the burden on your loved ones during an already difficult time. If you become incapacitated, your loved ones may have to make difficult medical decisions on your behalf. Having a Living Will in place can ease their burden by providing guidance and clarity on your wishes.

What Should You Include in Your Living Will?

Your Living Will should be specific and tailored to your individual needs and beliefs. 

Video: 10 Things To Include In A Living Will


Here are 10 things to include in a Living Will:

  1. Your preferences for life-sustaining treatments, such as artificial respiration, feeding tubes, and medication

  2. Your preference for comfort care, such as pain relief and hospice care

  3. Your preferences for resuscitation, including CPR and defibrillation

  4. Your preference for organ donation or tissue donation

  5. Your preferences for mental health treatment and medications

  6. Your preferences for spiritual or religious support

  7. Your preferences for the disposition of your body after death

  8. Your preferences for funeral or memorial arrangements

  9. Your preferences for who should make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so

  10. Any other specific requests or considerations that are important to you and your loved ones, such as your preferred location for care or who should be involved in your care.

It's important to discuss your wishes with your loved ones and healthcare providers to ensure that everyone understands your preferences. You may also want to update your Living Will periodically to reflect any changes in your health or beliefs.

How to Create a Living Will?

You can create a Living Will on your own using a Living Will template or guide. These resources can be found on our website and they provide a step-by-step process for creating a Living Will. While creating a Living Will on your own can be more time-consuming and may require more research and effort, it can be a cost-effective option for those who are comfortable with legal terminology and processes.


A Living Will is an important document that ensures your medical wishes are respected, even if you are unable to communicate them yourself. It's important to take the time to create a Living Will that reflects your individual beliefs and preferences. If you have questions about creating a Living Will, consult with an attorney or online legal service. Don't wait until it's too late to create a Living Will - it's an essential part of estate planning and ensuring that your wishes are respected.

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