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Does my living will need to be on file at our Local court house and hospital?

Easton, PA |

I have a Living Will and WIll completed (Notarized), kept in a safe place. My family has been notified of this and what it indicates. Do I need to have it on file at our court house and/or hospital? Should someone have a copy of it? l

Attorney Answers 4


  1. If the Living Will is a declaration of your intentions in the event you are in a terminal condition, please provide a copy to your primary care physician and the hospital. The person you have named as your health care surrogate should have a copy. There is no need to file it with the court. If the "Living Will" is actually your Last Will and Testament, check with the Clerk of the Court to see if it can be filed. Some jurisdictions allow this; others do not.


  2. I see no reason to file your Living Will at the Court House or the Hospital. I recommend to my clients to sign at least 3 , retain one in a safe place, give one to your Health Care Provider (family doctor), and one to the alternate Agent. If you change it, remember to destroy the old one. As for the Will it cannot be filed until you die at which time it is probated, assuming you have a probate assets.

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    Mr. Geisenberger is a Pennsylvania-licensed attorney only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation. Contacting Jacques H. Geisenberger, Jr., P.C.,does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege.


  3. First a living will is for your doctor, not the courts and usually lets them know not to keep you alive w/ food if you have no hope of every regaining the process of thinking. A will in California does not need notarization, but does require two witnesses. It is lodged w/ the courts after their death not before.

    If you think this answer is the best answer or was helpful, please mark it by clicking the "Best Answer" or "Mark as Helpful" button at the bottom of this answer. If you wish please tell AVVO about me, please write a review. Thank you in advance.


  4. I never heard of a requirement to file the document in court. Be sure to execute the documents in accordance with state law. Give copies to your health care reps, or, at the very least, let them know where the documents will be stored. Many use a safe deposit box for safekeeping.

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