Everyone should have a living will as part of their estate planning documents. Also referred to as an advance health care directive, a living will is a written statement of your wishes to receive medical life support should you become hospitalized, terminally ill or permanently unconscious. This document tells your family and friends of your wishes and instructs your doctor and other health care providers on whether or not your life should be prolonged by the use of artificial means. A living will also gives you the ability to decide and appoint who will make decisions on your behalf regarding medical treatment or nursing home admission and will interact with your doctors and health care providers.
In the state of Pennsylvania, an individual must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind to make and sign a declaration. Your advance health care directive will become effective when a physician declares you are incompetent, in a terminal condition or in a permanent state of unconsciousness.
It is important to make these important decisions while you are capable. Provide your loved ones with peace mind now and in the future.