Living Wills

It is difficult to predict what health care issues we will face and medical decisions we will have to make in our lives.  Your health care agent can make most of the ordinary medical decisions—that’s why you chose them.  But some things are so important that you may want to make your wishes known to family and friends in advance.  You use a living will to make that happen.

Despite the similar name, a living will bears no relation to a will.  Rather, a living is a written guide for your health care agent, letting them know what kind of life-prolonging treatment you do or do not want to receive.  You can download a simple living will from the Illinois Department of Public Health website.

Making such important decisions can be difficult.  But remember that a living will only comes into play if you are incapacitated and you have an end-stage condition that is either terminal or incurable.  And having your wishes known helps put your family and friends at ease, minimizes arguments, and increases acceptance of the ultimate decision.