What is a Living Will?

An Important Estate Planning Document

At Law Offices of Steven M. Adler, PLLC, we have over 50 years of collective experience drafting customized estate plans for individuals and couples. The living will is an important estate planning document and one of which we do recommend having.

As dedicated estate planning attorneys we are fully committed to our clients, we are readily available to answer your questions and we personally respond to emails and phone calls the same day. As a licensed health and life insurance agent and a licensed real estate agent, Attorney Adler brings a wealth of knowledge to the table that can help you create a well-rounded estate plan.

Information on Living Wills

A living will is a legal document in which you state your wishes in regards to your future health care. Living wills are used by individuals who want to express their wishes about withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining medical treatment which only serves to prolong the dying process.

Many people have strong opinions or objections about receiving life-sustaining treatment and want to make their objections known in advance. A living will is intended to apply if you are in any of the following states:

  • A terminal conditions
  • Persistent vegetative state
  • Conscious but with irreversible brain damage and you will never again be able to make or express your wishes again

Expressing Your Wishes

While your living will should express your general wishes, it is best to be as specific as possible. If you have definite preferences as to medical treatment under certain circumstances, you should spell them out in the document itself. Some examples of life-sustaining treatment you should address, include:

  • Artificial nutrition and hydration
  • Tube feeding
  • Antibiotics
  • Pain medicine
  • Cardiac resuscitation
  • Mechanical respiration

You may also want to authorize the issuance of a Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR) by your physician.

Contact a Long Island Estate Planning Attorney

In addition to a living will, you should appoint someone as your health care proxy (your agent). The health care proxy is a document that appoints someone as your health care agent to communicate your wishes regarding your health care in the event you are no longer to make these decisions for yourself.

To learn more about the benefits of a living will and a health care proxy, contact a Long Island estate planning lawyer from our firm. We would be glad to help you determine which estate planning documents you need so you can get started drafting an estate plan that meets your goals.