Creating a living will online

by the Editor, SeniorInsider | Jun 02, 2011

While there is much confusion regarding living wills and whether or not you need an attorney to draft the will for you, the reality is that by creating a living will online you can save a substantial amount of money. Of course you can hire living will attorneys to draft your document, and if you currently have a trusted family attorney this would probably be the best thing to do.

Recent legislation has lowered the requirements for the validity of living wills, so if you already have a living will, check with your attorney to ensure it is still legal or whether it needs to be redone. The changes mean that living wills are no longer required to be witnessed in order to be valid, nor, in most states, will you have to have your signature notarized or witnessed. A living will is an extremely important document, so consider all the pros and cons carefully before creating a living will online.

Your Living Will Online—What is It?

In terms of services for seniors a living will online becomes the place where you write out what you do—and don’t—want in terms of medical care should you become incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. If your medical condition is terminal or incurable, or should you end up in a persistent vegetative state, then your doctor must know your wishes as to how far he should go to keep you alive. It’s always a good idea to sit down with loved ones and discuss your end-of-care wishes prior to completing your living will online.

Choices for Your Living Will Online

There are three basic life support choices which you can make in your living will online. You must make these choices in your living will, or it is meaningless, and the choices you make must be consistent with each other, or it will be confusing and may not have the desired effect. Make sure you read your choices carefully, and if you don’t understand one or more of them, consider speaking to an attorney or a medical professional before you complete your living will online.

The first choice is that you can direct that the doctors do everything in their power to keep you alive—commonly known as life-prolonging treatments. These types of treatments can include blood transfusions, CPR, dialysis, drug administration, all diagnostic tests, surgery and the use of oxygen and a respirator.

Secondly, you can choose only life-sustaining measures such as an artificial feeding tube for nutrition and hydration. This means that if you are close to death from a serious illness, you would likely be unable to feed yourself therefore would not survive without IV feeding or tubes which provide you with a mixture of nutrients and fluids. Bear in mind that even permanently unconscious patients often live for years with only artificial feeding and hydration, while never regaining consciousness.

Palliative care means that you want death to occur naturally without intervention, however it does not mean you are foregoing pain medication or other treatments to keep you comfortable. Palliative care emphasizes quality of life, allowing you to remain pain-free and comfortable until your life ends naturally and may be administered at home, in a hospice or at a hospital. Finally, a DNR, or do not resuscitate order means that during a medical emergency you do not want to receive CPR, but want your life to end naturally.

Where to Find Your Living Will Online

In order to complete a living will online you don’t need to become a medical expert, but you will need to familiarize yourself with the various kinds of medical procedures which are commonly administered to those who are seriously ill. There are many different forms to be found online simply by typing in “living will,” or you can take a look at Legal Zoom. Remember that you must have two witness signatures and your own signature on the document in order for it to be valid. The price will generally range from $30 to $125, depending on the company you choose.



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