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A Living Will is an essential part of any Complete Estate Plan. If so desired, the Principal that is executing a Living Will can dictate the following:
- If I have a terminal condition, I do not want my life to be prolonged and I do not want life-sustaining treatment, beyond comfort care, that would serve only to artificially delay the moment of my death.
- If I am in a terminal condition or an irreversible coma or a persistent vegetative state that my doctors reasonably feel to be irreversible or incurable, I do want the medical treatment necessary to provide care that would keep me comfortable, but I do not want the following:
(a) Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, for example, the use of drugs, electric shock and artificial breathing.
(b) Artificially administered food and fluids.
(c) To be taken to a hospital if at all avoidable.
- Notwithstanding my other directions, if I am known to be pregnant, I do not want life-sustaining treatment withheld or withdrawn if it is possible that the embryo/fetus will develop to the point of live birth with the continued application of life-sustaining treatment.
- Notwithstanding my other directions I do want the use of all medical care necessary to treat my condition until my doctors reasonably conclude that my condition is terminal or is irreversible and incurable or I am in a persistent vegetative state. Or;
- I want my life to be prolonged to the greatest extent possible.
This means that you can take control of the decision of whether or not your life is prolonged by artificial means, or whether you want to be allowed to pass away naturally. By executing a Living Will, we are taking this decision out of the hands of our loved ones and not forcing them to make the decision to end your life. There is no right or wrong answer with regards to this type of decision. We execute this document to ensure that your wishes are honored, and to avoid any type of conflict among your loved ones that may be asked to agree on this decision should we not execute this document.
The Living Will is different from state to state, but generally Arizona will accept a Living Will that was executed in another state, so long as it is legal in that state and at the time of execution. However, it is always a good idea to update these “during life” documents if you move from one state to another.
Some law offices put this document into the Health Care Power of Attorney, but our attorneys always do this as a separate document because of its importance. We want to make sure this document is easily found in the event that it needs to be used.
In Summary, this is another document that is used during life, and it is an essential part of a Complete Estate Plan. This document instructs the doctor to remove any artificial life sustaining equipment in the event that you are in a terminal condition or a persistent vegetative State.