Living Will, who do I give a copy to & how do i get it "Legally binding"?

I have a very specific living will, some hand written and some of it a form provided by the Church that our Priest shared with me. I KNOW to have a copy for my husband available but do I get it notarized or what and who else do I give it to besides my husband? Do I give it to our local hospital? What if I go to a hospital that isn’t my local one? How do I MAKE SURE that my wishes are followed according to my living will? They ask when I go into surgery if I have a living will and I say yes it’s at home. What else should I legally do to make this binding and that my wishes for end of life are followed?

Maybe this??

When a living will declaration is filed, a laminated wallet ID card and an engraved “Do Not Resuscitate” bracelet are provided to the declarant, indicating that the living will declaration is on file in our office. We provide copies of declarations when requested by any attending physician or health care facility.

THANK YOU 1Lord1Faith. I didn’t know this existed.

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Was probably vary state to state, but a local hospital probably would have a correct form. Once done, I would have scanned into or copied into your medical record at an admission ( and check it is there).

It varies by state.

I prefer to have multiple originals when I prepare them for people, so that anyone who could be the decision maker will have it available.

The hospital will likely have its own form, too–and they’re not going to dispute its validity.

I also have an extra choice I put in, taken by most Catholics, barring intrusive surgery for a feeding tube (they wanted to do this for my wife’s step-father, even though he could at most live for days! He was still capable of refusing on his own), but keeping hydration.

I obtained some blank documents from Priests for Life to serve this purpose. I have signatures from those who are my representatives and I think I had a notary stamp it. I gave a copy to the representatives, one to my doctor, and filed one with my local hospital.

I can’t give legal advice to you, but I suppose it’s up to your representatives to make sure it is carried out. If you cross-tied it to your last will and testament, then maybe it would have some teeth. I happen to have long-term care insurance, so the medical facility or hospice would have an incentive to keep me alive (I guess) until the coverage was depleted.

I am tearing up my Living Will and going with this for my state of Louisiana

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Instead why don’t you designate your husband your health care surrogate as well so even if your living will is disregarded he’s in power to make decisions should you be incapacitated?

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You should get advice from an attorney, especially since you’re in Louisiana.


Hubby’s health precarious at times and I just want to make sure that ANYBODY who has the final say in how I am “treated”/taken care of at the end of my life follows my wishes.

See an attorney-- LA law is quite different than the other 49 states (but they have adopted article 2 of the UCC since I left law school . . .)

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Definitely look into this carefully. In a talk I heard from a priest (which I can no longer find), it seems that in some states a Living Will is assumed to be the standard form and hospitals don’t necessarily follow the individualized instructions.

So it may be that in your state you would be better off with a medical power of attorney in case of incapacitation being granted to someone you trust.

Discussing this with a lawyer in your state will be the most helpful action.

As many people of mentioned, and I believe you’ve researched, it’s different from state to state. In my case, I made sure that anyone that may object to my wishes was/had a copy. Case in point, my father was my primary medical surrogate because I knew that he would honor my wishes and I felt that it would too hard on my mother. Secondary was my cousin and she actually told me that she wasn’t sure if she’d be able to make those type of decisions. I told her that she wasn’t making any decisions, she was insuring that my wishes were being followed. My mother and brother both received a copy and I sat them all down and let them know what my wishes were. Did the same with my wife when I got married although I did make her my primary medical surrogate and my father became secondary.

also, some have a separate “Directive to Physicians” that is pretty much overlap, but also needed. Very roughly, the living will/health power of attorney gives authority and decision making to the agent, while the directive tells the physician to follow and assures he won’t be sued (especially when pulling the plug or withholding life-prolonging treatment)

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