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Louisiana living wills

What is a Living Will?

A living will, sometimes call a “healthcare directive” is a written declaration that states your wishes regarding life-sustaining treatments in the event of terminal illness and/or an irreversible incapacitation with no meaningful hope of recovery.  It is an important estate planning instrument which instructs your health care provider as to whether or not you wish to have your life prolonged by life-sustaining treatments.  A living will does not become effective until there is no longer a meaningful hope of recovery, which means your healthcare providers have exhausted reasonable means to save your life.

A living will can be specific as to which type of treatment one wishes to receive.  You may choose to discontinue all life-sustaining procedures, continue to administer some but not all, or continue to administer all life-sustaining procedures indefinitely.  You can also personalize it by adding a delay to give time for family to say goodbye or adding your organ donation wishes.  The more specific you can make your living will, the better.  Afterall, difficult end-of-life decisions can be painful and disputed among family members.  Thus, it’s best to spell it out for everybody what your wishes are.

It is the responsibility of the declarant to ensure that their physician is aware of their living will and that the document is accessible in case such a condition arises.  Per La. R.S. 40:1299.58.1-10, the Secretary of State‘s Office maintains a registry of living will declarations in which any adult person may make a written declaration directing the withholding or withdrawal of life sustaining procedures in the event such person should have a terminal and/or irreversible condition.  The registry isn’t required but is a good and inexpensive way to ensure your living will remains in a safe place.

The estate planning lawyers at BowesPetkovich & Palmer, LLC are experienced at drafting living wills for clients throughout the New Orleans and surrounding areas.  Call us today for a free consultation.

Other Estate Planning Documents:

Power of Attorney


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