A living will is a document that allows a person to record instructions regarding future health or medical care. They are relied upon when a person becomes injured, incapacitated, or seriously ill in the future.

A living will is often created using a standardized form. While this can help ensure that the will is valid under state laws, it can often be difficult to tailor a standardized form to the person’s individual needs. Living wills are often called "advanced directives." 

What Are Some Common Disputes over Living Will Forms?

Using a living will form can often be helpful, but you should be aware of some common disputes associated with standardized forms and living wills. These can include:

  • Unclear instructions regarding life support, resuscitation, and other medical issues.
  • Unauthorized actions by the person chosen to represent the creator of the will.
  • Medical procedures performed against the written terms in the living will.
  • Actions or decisions that violate state or federal laws.

It’s important to have a qualified attorney review any documents used in the creation of a living will. This can prevent potential conflicts or disputes from arising in the future.

How Are Legal Disputes over Living Wills Remedied?

Legal disputes over living wills can often be handled in a court of law. A judge may review the living will document to determine what the person’s actual desires and preferences were based on the writings. For instance, a dispute regarding medical procedures can often be clarified by examining the terms written in the will. In some cases, a damages award may be issued for losses.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Living Will Issues?

Living wills can be complicated legal documents. You may wish to hire an estate lawyer if you need help drafting a living will. Your attorney can help you review your documents to ensure that they are clearly written. Also, if you have any legal disputes or conflicts, your attorney near you can provide you with representation in a court of law.