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Understanding Living Wills

  • By: Larry Lefkowitz
  • Published: December 20, 2013

Understanding Living WillsA living will is a type of advance directive. These are legal written documents that spell out your specific healthcare preferences. Senior citizens often visit family lawyers to have a living will drafted. However, an individual of any age—provided that he or she is at least 18—can benefit from working with a family lawyer to develop advance directives such as living wills.


In the event that you become incapacitated and cannot communicate your preferences to your doctors and loved ones, a living will speaks for you. It informs your family members and care team of what your medical desires are, such as whether you wish your life to be artificially prolonged. This benefits you because you can rest assured that your wishes will be executed in the event that you fall into a coma or suffer from some other devastating event. It also benefits your loved ones because they will not need to guess at what your preferences might be.


When you consult a family lawyer to draft a living will, it’s a good idea to designate a surrogate and perhaps an alternate surrogate. These are also known as health care agents or proxies. By designating an individual as your surrogate, you grant him or her the authority to make decisions on your behalf while you are incapacitated.


Your family lawyer will guide you through the process of understanding all the details that are included in a living will. A living will specifies which medical treatments you prefer or do not prefer to have administered for you. For example, you may choose to have your life sustained with mechanical breathing and tube feeding. You could also choose to have cardiac resuscitation, should it become necessary to prolong your life.

Larry Lefkowitz, Esq. is a family lawyer who can prepare a living will or other legal documents for you. As a family lawyer with nearly three decades of experience, Mr. Lefkowitz is dedicated to providing superior client services at a guaranteed fee. For your no-obligation consultation with our family law office, call (215) 750-9202 or visit our website to explore other topics pertaining to family law.

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Larry Lefkowitz

About the Author Larry Lefkowitz is a Family Law and General Practice attorney who specializes
in assisting his clients with experienced legal advice and services for a flat fee.
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