Are Living Wills Valid?
Many states recognize that their residents can make valid Living Wills. However, understand that Living Wills that are valid in your state may not be valid in every state. You should always consult an attorney to prepare documents that will be valid in your state. Contact member services to be connected to a local attorney to help you.
However, by preparing a living will, even if it does not comply with every provision of state law, it may be influential in at least convincing your own family members of your wishes.
It is important to remember that in many states you may not have to be diagnosed with any terminal illness for a living will to take effect. However, some states require that a Living Will may not be effective until you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
One question almost everyone asks attorneys is this: Are Living Wills binding upon doctors and hospitals? The answer to this question depends upon which state you live in, as many states will require doctors and hospitals to follow these documents and even impose criminal penalties on them for failing to follow such documents. Other states recognize the validity of these documents, but will not require physicians or hospitals to follow their provisions.
An incentive for physicians or hospitals to follow these documents is a practical one: they will substantially eliminate their personal liability, if they were to be sued, if they follow the provisions of such a document. Failure to follow these documents might give rise to a potential liability. For this reason, there is an excellent possibility that physicians and hospitals will follow your properly written Living Will.
To make sure that your Living Will is valid in your state, contact member services and be paired with the correct attorney.