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A living will at any age

Living wills describe your preferences for health care if you cannot communicate your desires.

In most cases, a living will states what types of medical treatment you would like to receive. The living will contains your directions regarding life-prolonging procedures or even end-of-life religious practices.

If a tragic illness or injury prevents you from speaking, a living will makes your voice heard.

Typically you may think about drawing up a living will when other estate planning issues become more relevant. But accidents and illnesses do not happen on a schedule. Many young people decide to put a living will in place and continue to update the document throughout their lives. This is a great idea for lowering the potential stress on loved ones. In the absence of a living will, your loved ones would have to make decisions for you without knowing your feelings about resuscitation or life support.

Can you change a living will?

You can easily modify a living will to match your life and circumstances. You should work with an experienced estate planning firm to review your living will upon major life events such as marriage, divorce or the birth of a child.

Can you revoke a living will?

Creating a living will requires that you sign and notarize the document in front of two witnesses and deliver it to your primary physician. Canceling a living will is simpler. To revoke a living will you can:

  • Verbally inform your primary physician that you wish to revoke your living will.
  • Sign and date a written statement that the living will no longer applies.
  • Destroy the document and notify your primary physician.

In any of these situations, the cancellation is valid as soon as you inform your primary physician. Keep in mind that a living will does not automatically apply to pregnant individuals in Indiana.