Choosing a Living Will Template

When looking for a living will template, consider the most important aspects of creating a living will, or advance health care directive. Living will language isn't the same in every state, so you must be sure you're using the correct language, and be as specific as possible about the treatments you are willing to accept.

A living will template needs to state your identity clearly.
When you create a living will, one of the first things you must do is state your identity clearly. Include your full name and address. Some states may require you to get your living will notarized, at which point you would need to establish your identity to the notary public using an accepted method of identification.

When you create a living will, use clear language about your intentions.
The most important rule when you create a living will is to use clear language about your intentions. A living will template can't properly address your healthcare needs and requirements. State specifically what treatments you are willing to accept, and what treatments you choose not to undergo. If you're not specific enough, people can interpret your living will in ways that you would not have intended.

A living will template must be witnessed.
Most states require a living will template to be witnessed. One or two individuals must be present when you sign it, and attest that you are rational and reasonable at the time of signing. Your living will witnesses may be required to provide their home addresses for verification purposes.

Consider designating a healthcare proxy.
In some states, you can designate a healthcare proxy to make healthcare decisions in the event that you're not able to make them. When you designate a healthcare proxy, that person is able to determine what treatments to use and when to end treatment. Make sure your healthcare proxy knows what you expect before you sign a healthcare proxy, and verify that your state allows healthcare proxies.

Living will template language varies from state to state.
The language used in a living will template varies from state to state. Make sure you consult state-specific language, and make sure it's updated. Some general living will templates don't provide enough information to be effective and viable in your state.

Consult a living will attorney to ensure your language is correct and valid.
If you want to ensure your living will is going to be effective, use a living will attorney to draft your will. A living will attorney in your state is familiar with state laws and the necessary language required. An attorney can help you determine whether to designate a healthcare proxy, and answer other important questions when you create a living will, including the proper personal directive format.

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