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Living Will

A living will is a legal document that can direct a patient's physician to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining procedures in certain circumstances.

In most states, patients have a right to make this directive if they are terminally ill or if life-sustaining procedures serve only to postpone the moment of death.

Living wills must be prepared and executed according to state law to be valid and effective. 

For assistance in the drafting and execution of a living will, consult an attorney.

Fact

74 percent of U.S. consumers do not have a living will.

Source: Jaya K. Rao, M.D., Lynda A. Anderson, Ph.D., Feng-Chang Lin, Ph.D., Jeffrey P. Laux, Ph.D., "Completion of Advance Directives Among U.S. Consumers," American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2014.