Making a Living Will

Making a Living Will

A living will has nothing to do with the usual type of will that distributes property. A living will is a document by which a person declares if he or she wants artificial life support systems used if he or she becomes terminally ill.

Modern science can often keep a body alive even if the brain is permanently dead, or if the person is in constant pain. In recent years, all states have legalized living wills either by statute or by court decision. Some states have suggested forms and others allow any writing that reasonably expresses a person’s wishes.

Generally, a living will is signed in front of two witnesses who should not be blood relatives or a spouse. If the person is physically unable to sign, he or she may read the living will aloud and direct one of the witnesses to sign it for him or her.