Law Office of Barbara J. Dibble
Call Us Today 714-515-5126
Menu Contact

Basic information on living wills

A lot of California residents confuse living wills with actual wills. However, living wills are actually quite different. These documents -- which are also referred to as "directive to physicians" and "health care directives" -- express an individual's preferences with regard to medical care in the event that he or she cannot communicate those preferences due to incapacitation.

The most common living wills give people the ability to state that they do not want to receive various kinds of medical treatments and artificial life support, even if it is required for them to stay alive. Now, it has become more common for these health care directives to provide directions relating to organ donation, resuscitation, tube feeding and other types of high tech medical treatments.

All states, including California, have laws that allow for living wills. However, the guidelines for drafting a living will varies from state to state. Therefore, if a California resident currently has a living will document that was drafted in another state, it would be wise to review the document with a qualified California estate planning attorney to ensure that it conforms to our state laws.

A living will is a very powerful document because it requires health care providers to adhere to its instructions. In fact, doctors must adhere to the instructions in a living will, even if family members try to disagree with its terms. This is particularly important to help avoid family arguments and disagreements over medical care following one's incapacitation. California residents may wish to speak with an estate planning attorney to address their questions about what kinds of living wills are available, and what types of circumstances such a document can cover.

Source: FindLaw, "Living Wills: Introduction," accessed Dec. 17, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Schedule a consultation with an attorney

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Location:
1235 N. Harbor Boulevard
Suite 200
Fullerton, CA 92832

Phone: 714-515-5126
Fax: 714-871-5620
Map & Directions

Phone Numbers: