1. Create a living will
To create a living will, use our Living Will Declaration program. You can also write your own living will. But it's better to use an official form because a hospital is more likely to follow an official living will.
Once you have your living will:
- You need to sign it in front of two witnesses;
- The two witnesses also have to sign it; and
- The witnesses must be 18 years old or older.
Note: The two witnesses can't include:
- Someone responsible for your medical care; or
- Someone who will inherit property from you.
Make copies of your living will and give it to the people you want to know about it. They might include your:
2. Making sure people follow your living will
You can make sure people follow your living will by notifying them.
Give a copy of your living will to your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor needs to know that you have a living will and file it in your records. This makes it more likely that your doctor follows your living will.
Your doctor must tell you if they don't want to follow your living will. Your doctor then has to transfer you to a new doctor who will follow your living will. If you can't transfer yourself to a new doctor, your doctor must notify someone who can.
You should also give copies to your:
Everyone knows what your wishes are if you do this.
Keep a record of who you give a copy of your living will to. This way you know who to tell if you later decide to cancel your living will.
Canceling a living will
You can cancel your living will at any time. The best way to do it is by signing and dating a written note that cancels your living will. You should then send it to:
- Your doctor
- Your family
- Anyone else that you sent your living will to
You should do this if there is more than one copy of your living will.
You can also cancel your living will by doing all of the following:
- Destroying the original living will piece of paper
- Saying that you want to cancel your living will in front of a witness who is 18 or older and
- Having the witness write a note confirming you said you wanted to cancel it
The living will only stops working when your doctor gets notice. You should tell your doctor immediately when you cancel your living will. Your doctor will write in your records that you canceled your living will. Your doctors will then know not to follow it.
You should also tell everyone else who you gave your living will to that you canceled it. This way they know what your wishes are.
Updated: January 2017