10 Steps to Creating a Living Will


When to Change Your Living Will

As its name implies, a living will is not a static document. Just as your life and health status are subject to change, so will this document be. The American Bar Association's Commission on Law and Aging recommends reassessing your living will based on "Five D's" [source: ABA]:

  • Decade (aging)
  • Death (of a loved one)
  • Divorce
  • Diagnosis
  • Decline

You should also periodically reassess what your own wishes are. Perhaps you saw a friend suffer through an extended, painful illness before passing away; or you have learned more about the benefits of hospice care. Such experiences may change your mind about which procedures you're comfortable with receiving or how you'd want to spend your last days and weeks in the case of a terminal illness.