Ohio Living Will
What is the difference between a Living Will and a Will?
Doctor’s offices, medical professionals, and even the Bureau of Motor Vehicles ask whether we have a Living Will. Because of the similarity of terms, most people confuse a Living Will with a Will (also known as a Last Will and Testament); but these are very different legal devices.
A Living Will allows you to describe specific medical wishes related to administration of life-prolonging procedures. Without these instructions, your family will not know your wishes and may not have all of the necessary power to make medical decisions.
A Will describes your last wishes on the transfer of assets owned by you at the time of death. A Will is important but, for reasons that exceed the scope of this review, not the best device to transfer assets after life.
Does a Living Will mean I will not receive medical treatment?
A common concern clients have on this topic is whether or not they will receive medical treatment after signing the document.
If you are incapacitated or incompetent to make medical decisions, a Living Will does allow your Health Care Power of Attorney, in consultation with your physicians, to make an informed decision when the quality of your life may be limited. This can include issuing a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) if you are permanently unconscious or terminally ill.
Unlike a DNR, a Living Will does not prohibit the doctors from providing lifesaving treatment. A Living Will is not a full relinquishment of medical assistance. If you are injured, the doctors will still care for you and provide medical treatment.
Living Will Video Summary