Living Will


DEFINITION of 'Living Will'

A legal document that sets out the medical care an individual, or the principal, wants or does not want in the event that he or she becomes incapable of communicating his or her wishes.


A living will is used by people whose wishes will be met should they reach a point when they are no longer able to make the decisions for themselves. For example, if a person sustained life-threatening injuries, or was incapacitated as a result of some terminal illness, the decisions about his or her health care will be his/hers as long as there is a living will. Without one, the decision becomes the responsibility of spouses, family members or other third parties.

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