A living will is a legal document that outlines your wishes for medical treatment if you cannot communicate them yourself. It’s important to note that a living will is a personal and private document. A person’s decision to create a living will should not be influenced by anyone else’s opinion, and the content of the document should reflect the individual’s own wishes for medical treatment. In Pennsylvania, there are specific requirements for creating a valid living will. Here is what you need to know:
In Pennsylvania, anyone at least 18 years old can create a living will. Pennsylvania law requires that a person be of sound mind when they create a living will. A sound mind means that the person can make decisions and understand the consequences. Being of sound mind also means that the person creating the living will has the capacity to understand and make decisions about their healthcare treatment, they must be able to communicate their wishes clearly and understand the potential consequences of their decisions. If this person is not of sound mind due to illness, injury, or any other reason at the time they create the living will, the document may not be legally valid.
A living will should include specific instructions for medical treatment, such as whether or not to use life-sustaining treatments like feeding tubes, ventilators, or CPR. It should also state under what circumstances these treatments should or should not be used. The living will should be clear, specific, and unambiguous.
A living will must be signed by the person creating it and witnessed by two individuals who are at least 18 years old and not related to the person by blood or marriage. If the person is unable to sign the document, they may direct someone else to sign on their behalf, but this must be done in the presence of the witnesses. The witnesses must also sign the living will in the presence of the person creating it. They must attest that the person was of sound mind and under no duress or undue influence when they signed the document.
The person creating the living will should keep the original document in a safe place and provide copies to their healthcare provider, family members, and anyone else they trust to carry out their wishes.
Yes, a living will can be changed or revoked at any time, as long as the person is of sound mind. It can be changed by creating a new document or revoked by destroying the existing document, either by tearing it up or burning it.
A living will is an important document that ensures your wishes for medical treatment are respected if you cannot communicate them yourself. In Pennsylvania, the requirements for creating a valid living will are straightforward, and it is important to ensure the document is executed properly and kept in a safe place. If you are considering creating a living will or need to update an existing one, My Living Wishes is here to ensure that your wishes are properly documented and will be legally enforceable.