What is a Living Will?


Video Summary


Hi. I’m Chip Waller. I get questions from time to time about what is a living will. Well, often when you hear of a living will, people are referring to a dying declaration. A living will or a dying declaration says that you do not want your life to be prolonged artificially, and you direct and authorize your healthcare surrogate or a person who you designated in your living will to discontinue life support in three different circumstances: One, if you have an end-stage condition; two, if you have a terminal condition; and three, if you’re in a permanent vegetative state.


In order to have life support discontinued, first the physicians will make the determination that you’re not going to be with us that much longer. Also, you must be in an unconscious state, because if you’re in a conscious state you are then able to make this decision yourself. Third, the person who you designate to discontinue life support can exercise their own judgment as to when and whether or not life support is discontinued. Of course you want them to follow your wishes and do not wish to be prolonged artificially. Just because they discontinue life support does not necessarily mean they’re terminating your life. You’re being allowed to die naturally without any artificial means to keep you alive.


If you’re interested in having a living will prepared or other estate documents, give us a call at (727) 847-2288.