What is a Living Will

The term “living will” is a little misleading. A will is a document that determines how property is to be divided after someone dies. A living will is entirely different.

The purpose of a living will is to allow a person to express, in advance, their desires concerning medical treatment should they be in a terminally ill condition. The hope is that by doing this, you can make things easier for your family and physicians, if you are in a terminal condition. The form typically used in Pennsylvania directs that treatment that serves only to prolong the process of my dying not be provided, if the person is in a terminal condition or in a state of permanent unconsciousness.

A living will can also appoint a surrogate: someone to make medical decisions for you, if you are unable to communicate.

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