living will


Definition of living will

: a document in which the signer requests to be allowed to die rather than be kept alive by artificial means if disabled beyond a reasonable expectation of recovery — compare advance directive

Examples of living will in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But the court ruled the doctor was right to rely solely on the living will to carry out the mercy killing. Washington Post, "World Digest: Sept. 11, 2019," 11 Sep. 2019 Plus, anyone who has experienced apartment living will appreciate the unit’s full-size stainless steel LG washer and dryer. Ashley Boucher,, "Legendary Jets Quarterback Joe Namath's NYC Apartment Is Up for Sale for $1.2 Million — See Inside!," 29 Aug. 2019 See how new-home living will look while embarking on your family vacation! Cameron Sullivan, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: House hunting on vacation — Part 3," 19 July 2019 Does your parent have a will, a living will and powers of attorney for health care and finances?, "Don't do it alone! Here's how to build a caregiving team," 25 Apr. 2018 Those documents include a power of attorney, a power of attorney for health care, a living will, a standard will, a living trust and guardianship/conservatorship. Robert Powell, USA TODAY, "5 steps to ease your worries about money, health in retirement," 16 May 2018 The legal document is called a living will, or advanced directive. Cynthia Sewell, idahostatesman, "4 women sue Idaho over law that voids your living will if you're pregnant," 31 May 2018 This is where a medical directive, also known as a living will, comes in. Scott Nordlund,, "5 essential documents for elderly parents," 24 Apr. 2018 An occupational living will would not be legally binding. Kirk R. Daffner, Washington Post, "Reflections of a dementia specialist: I want to stop working before I embarrass myself," 15 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'living will.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of living will

1969, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near living will

living trust

living unit

living wage

living will




Statistics for living will

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for living will

The first known use of living will was in 1969

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More Definitions for living will

living will


English Language Learners Definition of living will

law : a document in which you say what medical decisions should be made if you become too sick or injured to make those decisions

living will


Medical Definition of living will

: a document in which the signer requests to be allowed to die rather than be kept alive by artificial means in the event of becoming disabled beyond a reasonable expectation of recovery — see advance directive

living will

liv·​ing will

Legal Definition of living will

: a document in which the signer indicates preferences or directions for the administration and especially the withdrawal or withholding of life-sustaining medical treatment in the event of terminal illness or permanent unconsciousness — see also advance directive — compare health care power of attorney at power of attorney

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