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Living Will


A living will, in financial terms, is a legal document that outlines an individual’s wishes with regards to their finances, assets, and property when they are unable to make decisions themselves due to incapacity. It also includes instructions regarding their medical care and life-support preferences. This document serves as a guide for family members and legal representatives to ensure that the person’s financial matters and healthcare requirements are taken care of as per their desires.


The phonetics of the keyword “Living Will” is: ˈlɪvɪŋ wɪl

Key Takeaways

<ol><li>A living will is a legal document that outlines your preferences for medical treatment in situations where you are unable to voice your desires. It is typically used for end-of-life care and to indicate preferences for procedures such as resuscitation efforts, feeding tube insertion, and organ or body donation.</li><li>It’s essential to have a living will as it provides a clear guide to healthcare providers and your family on your medical care. Without it, your loved ones may face difficult decisions and a potential family conflict may arise regarding the course of your treatment.</li><li>The specifics of a living will can vary greatly depending on state laws. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with a professional or legal advisor to ensure the document is appropriately drafted and legally valid. It’s also important to review and update it regularly, especially after significant life events.</li></ol>


A Living Will, in the context of business and finance, is crucial as it outlines a financial institution’s plan for orderly resolution in case of material financial distress or failure. This term is especially significant for large banks and financial institutions whose collapse could significantly impact the economy. By having a Living Will, it becomes possible for these institutions to have a plan in place to minimize such impacts and ensure systematic risk management. Furthermore, it ensures continuity of critical operations and services, ultimately protecting taxpayers and the overall financial system from significant economic impacts. It is a key requirement by regulatory authorities like the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ensuring financial stability and mitigation of potential crises.


A Living Will, in the context of finance and business, refers to a plan that financial institutions prepare to provide a roadmap for their potential orderly shutdown in the event of severe financial distress or failure. This essential precautionary document is also known as a ‘Resolution Plan’ in many jurisdictions. It is a key component of recovery and resolution planning, aiming to protect the broader financial system and prevent tax-payer funded bailouts in case of a catastrophic failure of a significant institution.The purpose of a living will is essentially twofold. Firstly, it serves to clearly outline the strategies and steps that a failing institution will undertake to quickly and efficiently wind up its operations without causing disruptions to the overall economy. Secondly, it also ensures continuity of critical functions and prevents any negative spillover effects on the financial system or economy at large. It often consists of capital and liquidity management strategies, operational resilience plans, and strategies to ensure the continuity of systemically important services. Hence, living wills play a crucial role in enhancing the resiliency and stability of financial systems globally.


A living will, also known as an advance healthcare directive, is a legal document that provides instructions about one’s medical treatment preferences in case they are unable to communicate or make decisions for themselves. Here are three real-world examples of a living will:1. Elderly Individual: An elderly individual with Alzheimer’s could have a living will to specify that they do not want extreme measures such as tube feeding or resuscitation should their health decline to that point. This decision could preserve their dignity and protect their family from having to make excruciating decisions.2. Terminal illness: Someone diagnosed with a terminal illness, such as advanced cancer, may choose to create a living will. In it, they might specify that they do not want to be kept alive on artificial life support, preferring to have pain control and hospice care instead.3. Comatose patients: A healthy individual might have a tragic accident that leaves him in a coma with little chance of recovery. If that person has a living will, it would assure that their preference for not being kept artificially alive comes into effect. This promotes their autonomy and spares families the distress of making hard medical decisions.Remember that these are just examples, and individual preferences and decisions will differ based on personal, moral, religious, and other grounds.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Living Will?

A Living Will is a legally binding document that lays out an individual’s preferences for medical care in case they are unable to make decisions themselves. It is often used in situations of terminal illness or severe injuries.

How is a Living Will related to finances or business?

A Living Will can have financial implications as it can affect the costs of long-term healthcare, insurance, and estate planning. In the business context, a living will is often prepared by financial institutions to lay out a plan for their rapid and orderly resolution in case of material financial distress or failures.

Can a Living Will be changed?

Yes, a Living Will can be changed or revoked by the person at any time as long as they are mentally competent. They can make changes or cancel it either by creating a new one or by physically destroying the old one.

Are Living Wills recognized everywhere?

The acceptance of Living Wills vary by locality. Some countries or states may not acknowledge Living Wills, or they may have specific requirements on how they should be crafted or witnessed.

Who should have a Living Will?

It is recommended that anyone, especially adults, should have a Living Will. It takes into account the unpredictable nature of life and helps to convey your medical preferences when you are unable to do so.

Should a Living Will be created with legal assistance?

It is advisable to seek legal guidance when drafting a Living Will to ensure it adheres to local laws and regulations. But there are also self-help tools available including templates and online forms.

When does a Living Will come into effect?

A Living Will comes into effect when a person cannot make decisions for themselves due to a physical or mental condition. This situation must be certified by at least one physician.

Can a healthcare proxy override a Living Will?

Typically, a healthcare proxy cannot override a Living Will. However, in some situations, such as when medical advances offer new treatment options not considered when the Living Will was written, the healthcare proxy might need to interpret the person’s wishes based on their Living Will and current circumstances.

Related Finance Terms

  • Estate Planning
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Advance Directive
  • Health Care Surrogate
  • End-of-life Decisions

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