A living will, also commonly known as an advanced healthcare directive or medical directive is a legal document wherein a person specifies what medical actions should be taken for their health if they are no longer able to make medical decisions for themselves because of illness or incapacity.
These directives can also authorize someone (known as a ‘healthcare agent’) to make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Often this document is executed along with a will because unlike a will or estate plan, a living will does not provide for the distribution of property or inheritance here in Pennsylvania.
What kind of provisions are found in a living will? Living wills mostly specify the types of treatments you do and do not want to receive. For example; specifying whether you want antibiotics or whether you want to be an organ or tissue donor. Unfortunately people fail to think about having a living will. Just as you have a will drafted to ease the transition and lessen any burden for family and friends after you pass away so too you should have a living will. A severe illness or your incapacity will be difficult on your loved ones. A living will can ease this time for them as well and ensure that your medical wishes are followed.
Contact our experienced team of Pennsylvania family law attorneys to have an advanced healthcare directive drafted for you. During one of our consultations our lawyers can also discuss the importance of having an updated will. It would be our pleasure to draft both documents for you.