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             24 November, 2020
 

    
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Living Will Formality

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         Views: 1869
2006-10-31 00:30:00     
Article by Marcus Peterson

Living wills do not require any mandatory legal forms to be filled; however, in order to cement your position, a living will can be supplemented with a traditional will and a health care power of attorney. A health care power of attorney is a legal document that appoints a person of your choice as your authorized agent, usually referred to as a health-care proxy, who can make medical decisions for you when you are not able to. A living will can also be accompanied by records and accounts of medical history, for the doctor to be able to get a fair idea of the patient's background.

Before creating a living will, certain formalities need to be fulfilled. The minimum age for drawing a living will is 18. For the will to be legitimate, it needs the signature of at least two witnesses (who have to be above 18 years of age). Your doctor cannot serve as a witness and nor can anyone working for him. In some states, only one of the witnesses can be related to the patient (by blood or by virtue of adoption or marriage) and in some states none of the relatives is allowed to act as a witness. Some states require three witnesses in order to lend further credence to the document. It is advisable that people entitled to receive a share of the patient's estate or other finances do not act as witnesses.

A living will needs to be attested and verified by a notary. A copy has to be made available to the hospital and copies should also be issued to the family members.

Drafting a living will does not necessarily require the services of a lawyer; however, it would do no harm to consult one.

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