One of the most important aspects of writing a living will, is choosing the correct living will template. The following article on living will template will help you understand the fine points behind writing a will.
Living will helps assign a person selected by you to serve as a health care ‘power of attorney’ in case you are incapacitated in such a way that you cannot make medical decisions yourself. When choosing the living will templates, you should keep in mind that the living will language is different for every state. Thus, you should be choosing your words carefully and getting your will drafted by a lawyer. The language should be specific and state the possible treatments that you are willing to accept.
What is a Living Will?
Living will is very useful in case one is terminally ill or is in a coma and cannot communicate his/her desires and instructions. This is very important as advancement in the field of medicine has helped doctors prolong and sustain life, even if the person cannot recover from the coma.
Living will is also known as advanced directive. These advanced directives help explain the patient’s wishes related to health care provided in case of a terminal condition. This is important especially when one cannot communicate or take decisions regarding their health, that is, ‘lack of capacity’. When one is worried about ‘lack of capacity’ in future, they can always opt for a ‘living will’ or ‘advance directive’. One can modify their living will according to the circumstances. When drafting a living will, you should keep some of the following tips in mind.
Instructions for Drafting Will Templates
The living will should state your identity clearly. It should include your full name, address and you may even have to get the living will notarized according to some state laws. The living will should contain a clear language that states your intentions. The templates do not cover all the healthcare requirements and needs. Thus, you need to mention all the treatments, medications and life-sustaining treatments that you are willing to accept clearly in your living will. If you jumble up or are not clear with what you want exactly, people who are assigned to execute the will, may interpret it in an exactly opposite way of what you intended.
Many states require living will templates to have a witness. You may need one or two responsible individuals to be present when you sign and attest that you are in a rational and reasonable state of mind while signing it. These witnesses may need to provide their addresses for verification.
In some states, you need to assign a health care proxy, who will make the medical decisions on your behalf. This individual will be able to decide which treatments you should receive and when to stop the treatments. The health care proxy should be told in advance regarding his responsibility when you sign him in as a health care proxy. You need to verify beforehand, if your state allows health care proxies or not.
The language of the living will differs in every state. Therefore you should know the state specific language when drafting a living will. To make your will effective and error free, you should consult an attorney. The living will attorney is aware of the laws of the state and will guide you accordingly. He will also draft a template that is in accordance with the state language laws. The following template for living will is a general template that will help you draft your will accordingly.
Circumstances Under Which a Living Will is Useful
Living will is helpful when one faces certain health problems. These health problems should be confirmed by the attending physician. These include:
- The person is close to death and may need life support to prolong life
- The person becomes permanently unconscious
- The person is suffering from an advanced stage of progressive illness
- Life support will lead to more suffering than ease the medical condition
Who can Become a Health Care Representative?
A health care representative is a person who will act in good faith and follow the instructions given by the patient in his living will or advanced directions. This representative can be any adult, who is willing to serve as a representative. This person can be a family member or a friend. But, the exception to this rule is that an attending physician or any employee of the doctor or healthcare facility cannot become a health care representative.
Template for Living Will
|Living Will Template # 1|
TO MY FAMILY AND PHYSICIAN:
This declaration is made by me (full name) ………………………… ………………………….
I.D. Number: ………………………………
If the time comes when I can no longer take part in decisions for my own future, let this declaration stand as the testament to my wishes.
If there is no reasonable prospect of my recovery from physical illness or impairment in which I am suffering continual pain or am incapable of ever again living a rational existence and when I am no longer capable of being consulted regarding my wishes, I request that I be allowed to die with dignity and not be kept alive by artificial means. I request that they administer whatever drugs necessary to keep me comfortable during this period even if it may reduce the length of my life.
This form is signed and dated by me in the presence of the two undersigned witnesses who at my request in my presence have given their names as witnesses.
Witness # 1 Signed: ……………………
Witness # 2 Signed: …………………..
|Living Will Template # 2|
TO MY FAMILY AND PHYSICIAN:
I, _____________, of ___________, being of sound mind, do hereby willfully and voluntarily make known my desire that my life not be prolonged under any of the following conditions, and do hereby further declare:
1. If I should, at any time, have an incurable condition caused by any disease or illness, or by any accident or injury, and be determined by any two or more physicians to be in a terminal condition whereby the use of “heroic measures” or the application of life-sustaining procedures would only serve to delay the moment of my death, and where my attending physician has determined that my death is imminent whether or not such “heroic measures” or life-sustaining measures are employed, I direct that such measures and procedures be withheld or withdrawn and that I be permitted to die naturally.
2. In the event of my inability to give directions regarding the application of life-sustaining procedures or the use of “heroic measures”, it is my intention that this directive shall be honored by my family and physicians as my final expression of my right to refuse medical and surgical treatment, and my acceptance of the consequences of such refusal.
3. I am mentally, emotionally and legally competent to make this directive and I fully understand its import.
4. I reserve the right to revoke this directive at any time.
5. This directive shall remain in force until revoked.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereto set my hand and seal this _________ day of ________, 20___.
Declaration of Witnesses
The declarant is personally known to me and I believe him to be of sound mind and emotionally and legally competent to make the herein contained Directive to Physicians. I am not related to the declarant by blood or marriage, nor would I be entitled to any portion of the declarant’s estate upon his decease, nor am I an attending physician of the declarant, nor an employee of the attending physician, nor an employee of a health care facility in which the declarant is a patient, nor a patient in a health care facility in which the declarant is a patient, nor am I a person who has any claim against any portion of the estate of the declarant upon his death.
These are a few templates that you can use to draft a living will. A living will becomes very useful when one is totally incapacitated and in a prolonged vegetative state and does not wish to become a burden on the family and friends. You should consult your doctor and living will attorney regarding all the medical and legal facts regarding the will. The templates in this article serve as guideline for those seeking to get a living will and is in no way a legal template. You should follow your state laws while drafting one for yourself.