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Formswift: Take control of your medical care decisions by creating a living will

A living will, also known as an advance directive, allows you to express your preferences for what medical treatments you want to receive when you can't speak for yourself. Craft your living will effortlessly using our online template.

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What's a living will?

A living will is a legal document setting out your medical care choices ahead of time.

If you’re ever in a situation where you can’t make your own health care decisions, a living will makes your preferences on resuscitation, life-sustaining treatment, and more clear to healthcare providers.

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Living wills can go by different names

A living will can also be referred to as an advance directive, health care directive, or directive to physicians.

Regardless of how it’s named, a living will lets you communicate your medical care wishes when you're not of sound mind or unable to speak.

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What goes into a living will?

A living will is a legal document that allows you to outline the medical care you desire if you can't make decisions for yourself.

You can specify preferences regarding life support and resuscitation in case of terminal illness or if you find yourself in a persistent vegetative state.

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Why should I have a living will?

A living will ensures medical professionals follow your medical care preferences if you can't communicate them.

It provides peace of mind that you have a plan in place for your care during serious illness or injury, without placing the weight of difficult healthcare decisions on your family members.

A medical professional works on a computer.

How to make a living will

Crafting a living will doesn't need to be complex—especially with our editable living will template. Follow these four simple steps to make your living will official.

Make medical decisions on how you want doctors to treat you during a serious medical emergency. Consider your preferences in the case of a terminal condition, a persistent vegetative state, or an end-stage condition.

Your living will can even include your treatment preferences on:

  • Artificial nutrition and hydration with the aid of medical technology
  • Dialysis
  • Do not resuscitate (DNR)
  • Feeding tube
  • Hospice care
  • Nursing homes
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • End-of-life care
A person crossing off items on a list from a whiteboard.

End-of-life decisions can be challenging, but it's important to address them. Discuss topics like when to stop medical treatments, when to withdraw life support, and organ donation with your loved ones to ensure everyone is aligned.

A hand holding up an hourglass

Consider appointing a trusted person as your health care agent if you haven't already. They can make decisions on your behalf if you're unable to do so. Choose someone who understands your wishes and can act in your best interest.

While this is optional, it’s highly recommended, as you might encounter situations that aren’t covered by your living will.

Two puzzle pieces are slotted together.

First check your state’s specific requirements as some states require a notary or witness to be present. Then, finalize your living will, print out the form, sign it, and mail it in.

Your preferences will be legally documented and ready to guide your medical care if needed.

A hand holds a sealed envelope.

Frequently asked questions

Writing your own living will is a cost-effective option. Many online templates and guides are available to help you create a document tailored to your needs. However, it's wise to consult an attorney if you have any questions or concerns.

Try our living will template today

While a living will expresses your wishes for medical treatment if you're unable to decide, a power of attorney designates a trusted person to make decisions on your behalf if you can't. They serve different purposes in safeguarding your interests.

A living will addresses your medical care preferences when you're unable to speak for yourself. In contrast, a last will and testament outlines the distribution of your property after your death.

Your living will guides decisions about your medical care if you're incapacitated and unable to communicate. However, it becomes invalid upon your death.

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