What is a Living Will?

A Living Will is not really a Will at all.  Instead a Living Will (which also may be known as an Advance Medical Directive) is a document that contains your written instructions about what level of medical treatment you want, in the event that you were unable to express your wishes verbally.  

Do I need a living Will if I have a last Will & testament?

Yes! Your Last Will & Testament deals with matters of property and money, but only when you die. Your Living Will deals with your health and personal care during your lifetime.


Why would I want a living will?

  • You may want all possible measures taken to keep you alive – or you could instruct that nothing be done to keep you alive.
  • You could also be very specific about what treatments you want, depending on your condition. 
  • A living will would also enable you to specify whether you wanted to donate your organs.
  • Having your wishes on paper can take the pressure off family members to make difficult decisions regarding your care. 

Should I talk to my doctor?

It’s a good idea to discuss your living will with your Doctor. They can ensure that you have understood the choices you have made and your instructions are suitable for your own health situation.  Also bear in mind that it’s very likely that they will be caring for you when your instructions become relevant.

Should I talk to my Family?

Yes, discuss your wishes with your family and friends. They can often help clarify your wishes through previous discussions with you. In addition if you have discussed your wishes with a number of people, it is more likely that those wishes will be honoured.

A Living Will enables you to make your own decisions, and ensure that others are aware of these decisions.

Ensure your voice is always heard with a living will.