Home > Legal Library > Article

Join Matindale-Hubbell Connected

When does a Living Will go into effect?

John B. Whalen
Whalen, John B., Jr. - Wayne Office

April 7, 2009

Previously published on Spring 2009

The Terri Schiavo case illustrated the importance of having a Living Will.  More importantly, it also, unfortunately, illustrated the pitfalls of not having a Living Will. A Living Will (or, in Pennsylvania, an Advance Directive for Health Care) allows you to choose someone to make health care decisions if you are unable to do so.  It also allows you to direct whether life-sustaining procedures should be used if you have a terminal condition or are permanently unconscious. It must be signed before two witnesses, and no notary is required.  A Living Will, therefore, is an excellent, if not imperative, tool to have in order to ensure that your own desires are followed in the case of such an unfortunate event.


The views expressed in this document are solely the views of the author and not Martindale-Hubbell. This document is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.

View More Library Documents By...

Whalen, John B., Jr. Overview