What is a Living Will?

A Living Will or Advance Health Care Directive is a set of instructions specifying what actions should be taken in the event that you are no longer able to make decisions due to incapacity or illness. A Living Will provides instructions for healthcare providers and other caregivers related to the type of medical treatment you may or may not wish to receive. The document can include general statements (e.g. about the use of life-sustaining measures in the event of a terminal illness) or more specific requests (e.g. the use of antibiotics, pain relievers, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

In your Living Will you will also appoint a person to make decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacity. Appointing an agent to make such decisions can also be achieved through a Health Care Proxy or Health Care Power of Attorney (see DoYourOwnWill’s section on Power of Attorney for more information).

After completing your living will, it is important to periodically update the document to ensure that it reflects changing beliefs, conditions or life situations.

You can create a free Living Will online using DoYourOwnWill’s state-specific forms.

Last Will and Testament

Distribute your property, name guardians, and appoint an executor.


Start your Will

Living Will

Let others know your health care decisions.


Start your Living Will

Durable Power of Attorney

Appoint someone to communicate your decisions if you can't.


Start your Health Care Power of Attorney

Pet Guardian Trust

Appoint someone to care for your pets.


Start your Pet Guardian Trust