Living Wills

At your doctor’s visit you may be asked about a living will. Below you will find information on this topic.

What is a living will?

A living will is a legal document that a person uses to make known his or her wishes regarding life prolonging medical treatments. It is used by physicians and family to understand a person’s wishes for medical care in the event that the person is unable to speak for him or herself. Other names for a living will are advance directive, health care directive, or a physician's directive.

We encourage you discuss with your doctor your thoughts on end of life medical treatments. He or she can answer questions you may have about certain treatments. Once you've decided what it is you do or do not want, making your wishes known in writing by completing a Living Will is a good way to ensure your doctor and your family understand your wishes.

How do I get a living will?

Any competent person who is at least 18 years old, or is a high school graduate, or has married can create a living will.

In the state of Pennsylvania your living will is not valid unless it is signed by you and witnessed by two people who are at least 18 years old. In Pennsylvania, you are not required to have your living will notarized.

It is suggested that you also date your living will, even though the law does not require it.

For additional information, click on the links below: