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Living Will Attorney in Minnesota: Safeguarding Your Future Medical Decisions

In the face of uncertain future health conditions, having a living will is a crucial step toward ensuring that your medical and personal wishes are respected. In Minnesota, drafting a living will demands not only legal knowledge but also a sensitive approach to your unique needs. To navigate this process effectively, partnering with a knowledgeable living will attorney can provide the necessary guidance and peace of mind. For more details on how we can assist you, you are encouraged to contact us by using the online form or calling directly at 612-204-2300.

What is a Living Will?

What is a Living Will?

A living will, also known as a healthcare directive in Minnesota, is a legal document that outlines your preferences for medical treatment in situations where you are unable to communicate your decisions due to illness or incapacity. This document is a fundamental component of estate planning, ensuring that your health care choices are known and considered when you cannot speak for yourself.

Key Elements of a Living Will

  • Medical Treatment Preferences: Specifies your wishes regarding the use of life-sustaining treatments, including resuscitation, mechanical ventilation, and artificial nutrition and hydration.
  • End-of-Life Care: Instructions for palliative care, pain management, and other preferences in end-of-life situations.
  • Healthcare Agent Designation: Often paired with a living will, this involves appointing a trusted individual to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
Common Misconceptions About Living Wills

Common Misconceptions About Living Wills

Misunderstandings about living wills can lead to hesitation or errors in their creation. Here are a few common misconceptions clarified:

  • "It's only for the elderly": Health crises can occur at any age, and having a living will is prudent for any adult.
  • "My family knows what I want": Without a legally binding document, your exact wishes may not be followed due to differing interpretations or emotional decision-making under stress.
  • "It's too complicated to set up": With the right legal help, drafting a living will is a straightforward process that provides immense peace of mind.
The Process of Creating a Living Will in Minnesota

The Process of Creating a Living Will in Minnesota

Creating a living will involves several steps, which your attorney will guide you through to ensure the document accurately reflects your wishes:

Step Description Recommended Action

Initial Consultation

Discuss your healthcare preferences and any specific instructions you want to include in your living will.

Schedule a meeting with a living will attorney.

Document Drafting

The attorney drafts your living will based on the information and wishes you provided during the consultation.

Review the draft carefully to ensure accuracy.

Review and Adjustments

You have the opportunity to make changes to the draft to better reflect your wishes.

Make necessary adjustments and finalize the document.

Formal Execution

The living will needs to be signed according to the legal requirements of your state, which may include witnesses or a notary.

Sign the document in the presence of required parties.


Distribute copies of the signed living will to appropriate parties.

Provide copies to your healthcare agent, family, and doctors.

  1. Initial Consultation: Discuss your health care preferences and concerns with your attorney to determine what should be included in your living will.
  2. Document Drafting: Your attorney drafts the living will, customizing it to your specific needs and ensuring legal compliance.
  3. Review and Adjustments: You review the draft and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that all your preferences are accurately represented.
  4. Formal Execution: The living will must be signed in accordance with Minnesota laws, typically in the presence of witnesses and/or a notary public to ensure its validity.
  5. Distribution: Copies of the signed document should be distributed to relevant parties, such as your healthcare agent, family members, and your primary care physician.
The Role of a Living Will Attorney in Minnesota

The Role of a Living Will Attorney in Minnesota

Navigating the legalities of a living will in Minnesota requires a thorough understanding of state-specific laws and regulations. An experienced living will attorney can offer invaluable assistance in several key areas:

Experienced Guidance on Legal Requirements

  • State-Specific Legislation: Minnesota has particular requirements and formalities that must be met for a living will to be legally binding.
  • Document Drafting: Tailoring your living will to reflect your personal wishes while ensuring compliance with Minnesota law.

Personalized Legal Strategy

  • Assessment of Personal and Family Needs: Understanding the dynamics of your family and how they might impact your healthcare directives.
  • Integration with Other Estate Planning Documents: Ensuring that your living will works harmoniously with other aspects of your estate plan, such as your will or trusts.

Ongoing Updates and Revisions

  • Adapting to Changes in Law: Keeping your document up-to-date with the latest legal changes.
  • Revising According to Life Changes: Updating your living will as your health and personal circumstances evolve.
Contact a Living Will Attorney in Minnesota Today

Contact a Living Will Attorney in Minnesota Today

If you are ready to take the next step in your estate planning journey, the team at Heritage Law Office is here to assist you. Protect your healthcare wishes by creating a living will that stands the test of time. Contact us by either using the online form or calling us directly at 612-204-2300 to learn how we can help you secure your medical and personal autonomy for the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the difference between a living will and a healthcare power of attorney?

A living will is a legal document that specifies your preferences regarding medical treatments and interventions in cases where you are unable to communicate your decisions. It typically addresses scenarios involving terminal illness or permanent unconsciousness. On the other hand, a healthcare power of attorney (POA) appoints an individual to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated. While a living will outlines your wishes, a healthcare POA assigns someone to make decisions based on those or other given situations.

Feature Living Will Healthcare Power of Attorney


Specifies your wishes regarding medical treatment in incapacitation scenarios

Appoints someone to make medical decisions on your behalf

When It Takes Effect

When you are unable to communicate due to severe illness or incapacity

Whenever you are unable to make decisions, regardless of reason

Scope of Decision Making

Limited to what is explicitly stated in the document

As broad or as limited as specified, can make decisions not in will

Legal Requirement

Must meet state-specific formalities for execution

Must have legal capacity to appoint and might require notarization

Main Benefit

Ensures that medical treatment aligns with your preferences

Provides decision-making authority to a trusted individual

2. At what age should someone consider creating a living will?

There is no specific age requirement to create a living will, but it is advisable for any adult aged 18 or older to have one. This is important because unforeseen situations such as severe illness or accidents can occur at any age, and having a living will ensures that your healthcare preferences are known and respected no matter when such circumstances might arise.

3. How often should I review or update my living will?

It is wise to review and potentially update your living will every few years or after significant life events. Major life changes such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, a serious diagnosis, or a change in personal health care preferences are all pertinent reasons to revisit and possibly revise your living will to ensure that it still reflects your current wishes and circumstances.

4. Are living wills legally binding in all states?

Living wills are legally recognized in all 50 states, but the specifics of the law and the requirements for a living will to be considered valid can vary significantly from state to state. Therefore, it is important to consult with a legal professional who is familiar with the laws in your particular state to ensure that your living will is properly executed and will be upheld by healthcare providers.

5. What should I do with my living will after it's been signed?

After your living will is signed and notarized, it's important to keep it in a safe but accessible place. Copies should be given to your healthcare agent (if designated), family members who might be involved in your care, and your primary care physician. You might also want to register your living will with any hospitals where you receive care regularly to ensure that your healthcare preferences are readily available in the event they are needed.

Contact Us Today

For a comprehensive plan that will meet your needs or the needs of a loved one, contact us today. Located in Downtown Milwaukee, we serve Milwaukee County, surrounding communities, and to clients across Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and California.