Your Foolproof Guide to Preparing a Living Will Online
A Last Will and a Living Will are two different estate planning documents: one deals with your affairs after you have passed on, while the other deals with your affairs while you are alive. A Last Will and Testament specifies decisions relating to the end of your life. A Living Will allows someone to make health care decisions on your behalf. If, for instance, you slip into a coma or no longer have the mental capacity to make decisions on your own, your Living Will expresses your wishes in regards to what type of health care you wish to receive. A Living Will, may for instance, contain a “Do Not Resuscitate” order or a refusal for a very specific type of medical procedure.
To create a Living Will, you need to be at least 18 years of age and be of sound mind. You also need to appoint someone to act as your “Attorney” (otherwise known as an “Agent” or “Proxy” in some provinces) to convey your health care wishes to your family and physician who may be looking after you in a hospital. A Living Will can ensure that the choices relating to your health are respected by all parties impacted by your incapacity.
You should consider a Living Will if:
- You have specific health care wishes that you would like to be carried out on your behalf (i.e. you do not want to be resuscitated if you are in a vegetative state)
- You are about to be hospitalized or have a major upcoming surgery
- You are diagnosed with a terminal illness
- You want to complete your estate plan
What is the difference between a Living Will and a Power of Attorney?
A Living Will and a Power of Attorney are both legal documents allowing someone you trust the ability to make decisions on your behalf while you are alive but incapacitated. A Living Will is designed to convey your healthcare related decisions. A Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to oversee financial matters on your behalf.
Selecting an Attorney for your Living Will
The “Attorney” must be at least 18 years of age, of sound mind, and be trustworthy enough to act on your behalf. You may want to discuss the responsibilities an Attorney undertakes with the person in question. Make sure he or she is comfortable enough to fulfill the role. Choose someone you know who has the maturity and abilities to carry on with the duties of being an Attorney.
Updating Your Living Will
Just as you would with a Last Will and Testament, you may also want to update your Living Will periodically. These are the following situations in which it is important to consider updating your Living Will:
- Major life/family event changes
- Your “Attorney” is unable/unwilling to take on the responsibility
You can use FormalWill.ca’s online Living Will order form to go through an easy step-by-step process to fill out each question.
Making your wishes as transparent as possible through your Living Will can help you avoid prolonged pain or suffering, should the time come when it is necessary to use it.
FormalWill.ca is a leader in online estate planning. Our system has been developed in close consultation with Canadian lawyers to ensure the utmost accuracy. We have established a user-friendly online service which creates your legal documents instantly and is designed to save you money and time.
Are you ready to start the process of establishing a Living Will instantly? Click here to learn more.