Know Your State's Laws
When considering a living will, it's important to research any relevant laws in your state. In most states, you must be of sound mind and aged 18 years or older in order for a living will to be valid when it is signed. Your living will may also have to be signed by witnesses testifying that you signed the document while of sound mind and not under coercion.
It's also important to consider state laws when drawing up your health care proxy documents. Depending on where you live, your health care proxy and advance directive requests may be part of the same form.
You may find all of the information you need about relevant state laws on the Internet, although a lawyer's services can be useful as well. On the next page, we'll consider some of the advantages of using a lawyer in drafting a living will, and we'll also consider why you may not need an attorney at all.