What Is a Living Will & Why Do I Need One?

A Living Will, more formally known as an Advance Directive for Healthcare or an Advance Directive for Medical Decisions, is a legal document that specifies your wishes about the types of healthcare you want or do not want if you are near death. Under Pennsylvania law, that means you are in a vegetative state with no likelihood of survival, in other words at the end of life.

A Living Will allows you to request or refuse certain medical treatments or procedures and allows you to select the person who can make those decisions and express them to the doctors and other medical care providers if you are unable to do so.

The individual making a Living Will is known as the “principal,” and the individual or entity receiving authority to carry out the principal’s wishes is called the “agent.” If you prepare a Living Will, healthcare providers will have written proof of your decisions, and your agent(s) will be able to confirm that they have your legal authority to make choices for you.

Why You Should Have a Living Will

There are many reasons to have a Living Will:

  • To provide written, legal guidance to your doctors and your agent(s).
  • To give clarity and closure to loved ones, and prevent any disagreements among family members and close friends.
  • To reduce the emotional toll that occurs when you are close to or at the time of death.
  • To permit you to specify how you want to live and die.
  • Because many people who are dying are unconscious, or cannot speak, a Living Will gives your voice to others at such a crucial moment.

Despite all these reasons, only 45 percent of U.S. adults have a living will, according to a 2020 Gallup poll.  That means that over half of the American adult population is gambling on who will make end-of-life decisions and hoping that those decisions will be what they want. A Living Will eliminates those concerns.

We Offer Peace of Mind With Our “Pay Once, Revise for Life Estate Planning Program”

With our “Pay Once, Revise for Life Estate Planning Program,” you only pay a fee once – when you initially draft and sign your estate planning documents, which typically include a Will, Living Will, Power of Attorney, and Healthcare Power of Attorney). We never charge for revisions, so you can feel comfortable calling us to make changes at any time, and know that the meter won’t be running.

If you would like to meet with our office or have any other questions, call us at (610) 446-3457, click here to send an email, or fill out the form below.