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Louisiana Living Wills Laws

As the saying goes, “Hope for the best, plan for the worst." And while we always hope for long life and health for our loved ones and ourselves, it’s always best to have a plan just in case. Living wills can provide such a plan. Here is a brief overview of living wills laws in Louisiana.

Living Wills Laws

We normally think of wills as handing down a person’s property and possessions, living wills function a little differently. Instead, a living will is a legally binding document that refers to a person’s preferences regarding his or her medical treatment, should they become incapacitated.

Louisiana Living Wills Statutes

The basics of living wills statutes in Louisiana are listed below.

Code Section

Louisiana Revised Statutes 40:1299.58.1 et seq.: Declarations Concerning Life-Sustaining Procedures

Specific Powers, Life-Prolonging Acts

Any medical procedure or intervention, including but not limited to invasive administration of nutrition and hydration, which would serve only to prolong the dying process for a person diagnosed as having a terminal and irreversible condition. Does not include any measure necessary for comfort care

Legal Requirements for Valid Living Will

(1) Any adult; (2) written declaration; (3) signed by declarant; (4) in presence of 2 adult witnesses; (5) oral or nonverbal declaration may be made in presence of 2 adult witnesses by any nonwritten means of communication at any time subsequent to the diagnosis of a terminal and irreversible condition (sample form §1299.58.3(c))

Revocation of Living Will

Revocable at any time by declarant without regard to mental state or competency by (1) destruction of document; (2) written revocation signed and dated by declarant; (3) oral or nonverbal expression by the declarant of the intent to revoke. Effective upon communication to physician

Validity from State-to-State

Declaration properly executed in and under the laws of another state is deemed to be validly executed

If Physician Unwilling to Follow Durable Power of Attorney

Physician shall make a reasonable effort to transfer the patient to another physician

Immunity for Attending Physician

Any health care facility, physician, or other person acting under the direction of a physician shall not be civilly, criminally, or professionally liable for withholding life-sustaining procedures in accordance with the provisions of this chapter

Louisiana Living Wills Laws: Related Resources

Planning for a future illness or death is a difficult and serious matter. You can visit FindLaw’s living wills section for more resources information on this topic, including a sample living will form and a sample living will with designation of a surrogate form. You can also contact a Louisiana estate planning attorney if you would like legal assistance in setting up a living will.

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