What to Do After You Fill Out Your Living Will

The following should help guide you as to what to do after you have completed your Living Will/Advance Directive. We suggest you speak with a legal professional for further guidance, if needed.

1. Make copies of your original Living Will/Advance Directive document.
Keep the original document in a safe and accessible place. Tell your family/close friends where you are keeping these documents. It is recommended that you do NOT keep your Living Will in a safe deposit box as others need to be able to have access to it when needed.

2. Talk with your family and close friends.
Begin the conversation by asking them if they will speak with you about your end-of-life concerns and decisions. People deal with these issues in a variety of ways and not everyone is comfortable with this subject. If they agree, find a quiet place in which to have this conversation. It should be a place that is free from distractions. Share with them your decisions for treatment if you were faced with a terminal illness or were in a permanent state of unconsciousness due to an accident, for example. Name the person you have chosen to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are unable to speak or make your wishes known. If desired, give a copy of your Living Will to a close relative.

3. Speak with your primary physician.

Meet with your primary care physican to tell him/her about your Living Will and end-of-life decisions. Bring a COPY of your Living Will/Advance Directive. (Keep the original for your records. Never give away the original document.) Tell your physician what medical treatment you want or do not want if in a terminal situation. Advise your physician as to who you have chosen to be your healthcare decision maker (Healthcare Power of Attorney). Give your doctor the copy of your Living Will document to keep in your medical records.

4. Give a copy of your Living Will to your healthcare decision maker (Healthcare Power of Attorney).
Your Healthcare Power of Attorney should keep a copy of your Living Will in a safe place. If you have chosen an alternate Healthcare Power of Attorney, he/she should receive a copy as well.

5. If you have a personal attorney, give him/her a copy of your Living Will.
It is recommended that your lawyer keep a copy of this document in your file.

Print out a copy of an example Living Will



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