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What is a living will?

Missouri residents like you who are dealing with an advance medical directive for the first time may not know how to handle it. Also known as a living will, these documents are vital to how you will help handle your loved one's final matters.

Defined by Merriam-Webster's dictionary as a document allowing the signer to choose what they want to do in a life-or-death medical situation, an advance medical directive or living will is crucial in situations where someone's health or mental state is deteriorating rapidly. These documents can include deciding whether or not they want to be resuscitated, and if they would like to be an organ donor after passing.

An advance medical directive is intended to be used in the event that the person in question is no longer competent or capable of making decisions regarding their own life or death. This can happen for many reasons, including terminal illness, mental problems, traumatic accidents, and so on. In these cases, a person will usually be chosen to make decisions on the signer's behalf. They are the ones who will decide whether to keep the signer on life support or to allow them to pass without resuscitation.

This can be a heavy burden for anyone to bear, and you may have a number of questions about related legalities on top of everything else. If you are dealing with an advance medical directive or living will and would like to learn more about your responsibilities and options, you may benefit from speaking to an estate attorney.

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