Legal Excellence From A
Hometown Firm

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Estate Planning
  4.  » What topics can I address in my living will?

What topics can I address in my living will?

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Estate Planning

Due to the disabling effects of an illness or the infirmities of old age, you may become incapacitated and no longer able to communicate your medical preferences to family and doctors. Through a living will, you may avoid losing control over your care.

A living will is an advance directive you can create to address how you want treatment after you cannot make your wishes known. There are many kinds of medical treatments you may address in your living will.


First, your living will is a good place to detail your medication wishes. People generally have certain medications they do not want for a variety of reasons, perhaps because they know the medicines will not be effective or can cause an adverse reaction. Conversely, you probably know of medications and antibiotics you should have in certain cases.

Resuscitative and life-sustaining procedures

Some people do not want any attempts at resuscitation if they die. Others may want some life-prolonging procedures but not others, particularly if it looks like they will only survive in a vegetative state.

Through your living will, you can address whether or not you want CPR performed on you if your heart stops or if you want ventilation if you cannot breathe on your own. You may also discuss whether or not you want a feeding tube, intravenous treatments or kidney dialysis.

Palliative care

Some people reach a state where their health is in permanent decline and death is possible in the near future. Individuals in this situation can enter palliative care, meaning they receive medicines to alleviate pain. With your living will, you can explain what medications you want, while also ruling out treatments that could cause pain and discomfort.

Through your living will, you can also designate someone to act as your health care proxy, to make decisions that you do not address in your document. Your proxy, plus all the other topics you discuss in your living will, should help to maximize your control over your care when the time comes for doctors to make important decisions regarding your health.