A Living Will is a legal document drafted according to Pennsylvania law that expresses a person's wishes/intentions for health care when the person becomes incompetent and has an "end-stage medical condition." In today's blog, your Allegheny County Trusts and Estates Lawyers provide some details about the benefits of a Living Will.
In terms of decision-making and planning for your future, a Living Will that clearly expresses your wishes for medical treatment if the situation arises is an important and necessary document to have in your possession.
If you are facing an end-stage medical condition, you should consider drafting a Living Will. An end-stage medical condition is one that is not curable and cannot be reversed. A medical condition will be deemed an "end stage condition" when the Attending Physician gives an opinion that to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the condition will result in death even if medical treatment is continued.
In order to make a Living Will, a person has to be of sound mind and has to be at least 18 years of age. There is an exception to the age requirement if the individual has already graduated high school or is legally emancipated. The actual document itself has to be signed and dated by the person seeking the living will as well as witnessed by two individuals who are at least 18 years old.
A Living Will becomes operative when a copy is provided to the Attending Physician of the person, and that Attending Physician determines that the person is both incompetent and has an end-stage medical condition/is permanently unconscious. The Attending Physician shall then act in compliance with the provisions of the Living Will and the client's wishes for their health care decisions. Health care providers who are given a copy of a Living Will are to also make this legal document part of the client's medical record.
If you are considering drafting a Living Will, contact our Pittsburgh Wills & Estates lawyers at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates. During our initial consultation, our lawyers will describe to you the benefit of a Living Will and suggest other estate planning documents that may be beneficial to you based on your specific circumstances. For more information or to set a consultation, contact us today.