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What is a living will?

While you may understand what a last will and testament is, there is another type of will that you may not know about. This is the living will, which is defined by the New York Attorney General as a legal document in which you leave your directions for how to care for you and manage your health care if you become unable to do so yourself. A living will may become important at any stage of your adult life if you are injured or become sick. 

It helps to ensure that your wishes are known and carried out. For example, if you wish to not be kept alive by life support, then you could put this in the document. You may also dictate what medications you will take and which ones you do not want. To create a valid living will, you have to be at least 18 years old. The document must also be clear and precise as to what your wishes are. 

To finalize the legality of the document, you need to have it witnessed. Two people must sign it, along with signing a statement saying you created the document willingly. It is not required to be notarized, but that is always a good idea just to give it a little more legal standing. 

The state also sets minimum requirements for what must be in the living will. You must include the witness signatures, your signature and the date of creation. In the contents, it must have your full name and your health care wishes statement. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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Hall, Ricketts, Schuller & Gurbacki, P.C.
471 Main Street
East Aurora, NY 14052

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