f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

April 2, 2005

no need to pay for a living will

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 4:16 pm

The Washington Post says “Sales of computer software to create living wills are

surging amid the high-profile debate over Terri Schiavo.” (via Between Lawyers

The Post also notes:

“Living wills can be obtained cheaply or free from numerous sources

and generally don’t require an attorney.


“Debra Speyer, a Philadelphia attorney who does estate planning, said

software is fine, but she’s receiving nearly 10 times as many calls from

people who feel they need an adviser to more fully explain the document.”

hugSmallN  I’m pretty sure you don’t need a lawyer to create an effective living will, and

even more certain that family and friends will make better “advisors” on the important

health care choices to be made, and the value issues involved, than most strangers

who happen to be lawyers.   


Those who’d rather not pay for a Living Will or Health Care Directive can get free state-

specific documents online from Compassion & Choices.  I just downloaded a 15-page

document for New York State, which is well-written, and appears helpful and thorough.

You can also find general information on living wills and health care proxies from HALT.

  • For a smile over lawyers and living wills from the New Yorker (1991) click here.

  • Click for a A Catholic Guide to End-of-Life Decisions.  If you’re one of the

    70% of Americans who would not want to continue on artificial sustenance

    once in a prolonged vegetative state, you may want to pause before naming

    a devout Catholic as your healthcare proxy. See also, this discussion from EWTN.

update (April 6, 2005):

HALT has put together a Living Wills Clearinghouse, now found

on its Home Page, saying “Due to the explosion of interest in living wills

as a result of the Terri Schivao crisis, HALT is offering free living wills for

consumers in every state. Filled out properly, a living will is a powerful tool

to ensure that you receive only the care you want if you become unable to

express your wishes.”   In addition to general information about Living Wills,

there is a brochure Durable Power of Attorney: Do You Need One?  [See our

prior post “you don’t have to pay for a living will.”]



I’m no good at dying
again they see…
cherry blossoms

my hut’s snow
not very good
at dying


translated by David G. Lanoue   


  1. david,
    the river haiku you posted today
    is outstanding.
    ed markowski

    Comment by ed markowski — April 4, 2005 @ 7:38 pm

  2. david,
    the river haiku you posted today
    is outstanding.
    ed markowski

    Comment by ed markowski — April 4, 2005 @ 7:38 pm

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