Thinking about what you would want done with regards to life-sustaining procedures is not pleasant, and can be down-right uncomfortable. However, making such decisions as part of an estate plan can ensure that your wishes will be met, and your loved ones won’t be put in a situation in which they’d have to guess as to what you’d want during what may be a very stressful and emotional time.

Under Kansas statutes, a living will is simply called a “declaration,” in which an individual puts into writing what he or she wants with regards to life-sustaining procedures should he or she be in a situation in which he or she needs treatment for a terminal condition. In Kansas, a life-sustaining procedure is only one that would prolong the dying process. A life-sustaining procedure in Kansas does not include any measures taken, such as medication, for the purposes of pain relief or comfort care.

The individual creating the living will must be age 18 or older. The document must be written, dated and signed by the individual creating it, with at least two adult witnesses present that are of no relation to the individual creating the living will. Ultimately, there is a sample living will form in the Kansas Statutes, and any living will created may be substantially similar to it.

It is up to the individual who created the living will, or his or her relatives, to present the living will to the physician or hospital that the individual is being treated at. The living will cannot be adhered to until the physician is notified of it.

In Kansas, should an individual wish, he or she can revoke his or her living will at any time. To do so, the individual who created the living will can either physically destroy the document, execute a signed and dated revocation in writing or verbally express his or her desire to revoke the document while in the presence of at least one adult witness, who must then both sign and date a written documentation of the individual’s revocation.

Keep in mind that this post cannot serve as legal advice, and should not be used as a basis for executing a living will. To make sure you understand how to create a legally-binding living will, you may want to consider consulting with an estate planning attorney before proceeding.

Source: FindLaw, “Kansas Living Will Laws,” accessed Sept. 18, 2016

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