What is a Living Will? A Living Will is also known as a Health Care Directive or Advanced Directive. It is a legal document that makes known a person’s wishes on life prolonging medical treatments. For example, if you are in a permanent vegetative state, do you want life-prolonging measures taken, or no life-prolonging measures? A Living Will is very important as it informs your family and medical providers what your specific desire is if you are unable to speak for yourself. It can help avoid family fighting and more emotional stress in an already difficult situation.
Generally, a Living Will indicates which treatments you do or do not want applied to you in the event you either suffer from a terminal illness or are in a permanent vegetative state. A living will does not become effective unless you are incapacitated; until then you’ll be able to say what treatments you do or don’t want. Don’t worry, a family member cannot simply “pull the plug” whenever they want to. Certifications by physicians are required. A Living Will is only used when there is no hope for your recovery.
A Living Will should not be confused with a Living Trust, which holds and distributes a person’s assets to avoid probate.
Arizona Legal EASE, Inc. is an Arizona certified legal document preparer. We provide general information about Arizona legal issues and process. However, legal information is not the same as legal advice, which is the application of the law to a specific situation. The information provided here is not intended or meant to provide a comprehensive picture of any particular situation.