One of the most important elements of a comprehensive estate plan is a Living Will. A Living Will, also called an advance health care directive, helps prevent battles over who will have control over potential health care decisions when you are unable to make or communicate decisions for yourself.Many people remember the Terri Schiavo case, in which a husband litigated with the wife’s parents for 15 years all the way to the United States Supreme Court over who should have control and what should be done. A Living Will can prevent such a tragedy.

What Does A Living Will Accomplish?

A health care Power of Attorney names someone you trust to act as your Agent or decision-maker should you become unable to make or communicate your own decisions.

A Living Will applies when you are in a coma, doctors don’t believe you will come out of it, you are on life support, you have a feeding tube and IV fluid. You indicate whether you want to authorize your agent to sign the waivers and releases to withdraw life support, and whether you want the feeding tube and/or IV fluid removed if you are able to breathe once life support is withdrawn.

Sunny Von Bulow died after almost 28 years in a coma. Avoiding such situations is the purpose of authorizing your Agent to withdraw food and water.

As your lawyer, I will not only draft a Living Will according to your wishes, but I will also register it along with your medical Power of Attorney through the U.S. Living Will Registry.
You will receive a card for your wallet with your Power of Attorney agent’s telephone number on it, as well as a code for easy on-line access of your documents.

Living Will Registry

Below are samples of the card you will receive for your wallet when you complete the US Living Will Registry form and I mail it in for you.  Your health care agent’s phone number will be on the card as well as a code for medical providers to access the PDF Power of Attorney for Health Decisions and Living Will.  Keep the card behind your driver’s license.


IDCardFront      IDCardBack


Schedule A Free Estate Planning Consultation

To discuss your concerns or needs regarding living wills or other types of estate planning, please email me at I offer initial legal consultations free of charge.

For more detailed information about Living Wills consult my Blog.

Mulvaney Law Offices,PLLC, is located in Bellevue, Washington, representing estate planning & probate, chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy, and real estate transactions clients in Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellevue, Redmond, Renton, Issaquah, Sammamish, Maple Valley, Burien, SeaTac, and throughout King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.

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