A living will is a written document that allows you to control your own end-of-life decisions in case of a terminal illness or accident. In a living will, you appoint a representative who can make end-of-life decisions in consultation with medical professionals who are providing care.
Without a living will, end-of-life decisions may require court involvement. A living will is part of a good estate plan.
Knight Law is pleased to offer living wills as part of our estate planning services.
Who can create a living will?
Generally, anyone who is at least 18 years old and of “sound mind” can create a living will. In this context, sound mind usually means the ability to understand what the living will is, what it contains, and what it does.
Will my living will ever expire?
Your living will remains effective for as long as you live, unless you intentionally revoke it or the courts get involved (e.g., someone challenges whether you had capacity to make the document, or a court questions whether your document meets the state’s requirements). Generally, court intervention into these matters is rare and limited.
If you named your spouse as your healthcare agent and you get divorced, some states will consider the appointment revoked. If you listed an alternate agent, he or she will take over. In any event, it may be a good idea to create a new living will after your divorce, so there will be no confusion.