Most people remember the case of Terri Schvaio. She was in a coma for more than two months, and then was declared to be in a vegetative state. Her husband eventually decided to have her feeding tube removed, but Terri’s parents disagreed. Their argument over Terri’s treatment lasted seven years. This type of emotional turmoil within a family is devastating. Life is unpredictable, so it is important to make decisions regarding the medical intervention and treatment you would like to receive in the event you are unable to make those decisions when needed. These types of decisions are set forth in a living will, also commonly referred to as an advance health care directive or advance directive. You can provide instructions for what extraneous measures should be taken to keep you alive or when you want life support removed. Obviously, these types of decisions are an overwhelming burden on your family members, so by making the decisions yourself, you are saving them from heartbreak and arguments over what to do. A few of the more “objective” reasons for having a living will include:


  • Protect yourself. Only you know what you can endure and under what circumstances you want to be kept alive. This very personal decision should be made by you now, so that you know your wishes will be known if the unthinkable should happen.
  • Reduce medical costs. Healthcare is expensive, especially when a patient is being kept alive for prolonged periods of time. Insurance may not cover certain treatments or it may simply run out, leaving the costs to be paid by your estate. If you don’t want your family to lose everything because they are artificially extending your life, a living will can prevent it from happening.
  • Save legal fees. A living will can prevent your family from battling in the courtroom for years like Terri Schvaio’s family and incurring massive amounts of attorney’s fees. By making your wishes known, your estate can be used to provide for and protect your family, rather than funding prolonged litigation.

Our attorneys have handled a wide array of issues concerning living wills. Whether you need a living will or you are considering filing a lawsuit to determine a loved one’s wishes, we are here to help you. We will walk you through the process from beginning to end. Schedule your no-cost consultation now by calling (714) 963-7543. At The Legacy Lawyers we are dedicated to your peace of mind.