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Charleston Living Wills Attorney

A well-conceived estate plan will not only provide for the distribution of your assets when you pass away, but also declare your wishes for end-of-life care through a living will. This critically important estate planning tool allows you to choose the type of life-saving measures you prefer to receive or have withheld when you cannot communicate your wishes. Ultimately, the best decision you can make about your welfare and your future is to consult an experienced living will attorney.

Wiles Law Firm, LLC, conveniently located in Mount Pleasant, provides comprehensive estate planning services to clients throughout South Carolina. Well-versed in the applicable trust and estate laws, we routinely draw up advance medical directives, including living wills. Knowing that planning for end-of-life care is a frightening prospect, we will offer you the finest legal representation and caring, personal service.

What is the difference between a will and a living will?

A common misconception is that a will and a living will are the same, however, these estate planning documents serve distinct purposes. A will is the most basic document that provides instructions for the management and distribution of your assets after you die. A living will, by contrast, is a type of advance medical directive that specifies your preferences for end-of-life medical care if you are unable to independently communicate your wishes.

How does a living will work?

Once a living will is created, it remains in place during your lifetime, however, it can be changed or revoked at any time while you are still capable of making decisions. The main purpose of a living will is to make sure that you receive the type of end-of-life care you prefer, or in the alternative, that extreme measures will not be taken to prolong your life, such as the insertion of a feeding tube.

A living will becomes effective once your doctor determines that you lack the capacity to make decisions about your health because you are (1) not capable of understanding the available healthcare options and their consequences and/or (2) unable to communicate your wishes for end-of-life care orally, in writing, or through gestures.

Additionally, a living will names a healthcare representative or agent who must abide by your declared wishes for end-of-life care and always act in your best interests. Because this person must be able to advocate for your healthcare preferences with doctors, family members and possibly in court, your healthcare agent should be assertive and calm under pressure. While a living will may be deemed invalid if there is evidence that you were not of sound mind or the document was improperly executed, the courts are inclined to honor strong evidence of an individual’s wishes for end-of-life care.

Do I need a living will if I have a healthcare proxy?

A durable power of attorney for health care (health care proxy) is another type of advance medical directive that establishes the type of medical care you prefer to receive if you are incapacitated due to an illness or injury. A health care proxy also designates an agent who is responsible for ensuring you receive the medical care you prefer when you cannot communicate. Unlike a living will, a durable power of attorney for healthcare becomes effective at any time you designate, not when your condition is terminal. For a living will to be effective, you must be permanently unconscious or have a terminal illness.

In any event, by having a living will in place, you can rest assured that you will receive the type of end-of-life care you prefer or that extreme measures will not be taken to prolong your life, such as intubation or the insertion of a feeding tube. Without a living will in place, your loved ones will have to ask the court for permission to act as your healthcare agent while a doctor or hospital may prolong your life against your will.

Why Choose Wiles Law Firm?

Let’s face it -- planning for incapacity and confronting our own mortality is never easy, but preparing a living will is the responsible way to protect yourself and your family. When you become our client, you will have peace of mind, knowing that your preferences for end-of-life care will be carried out. In addition, your loved ones will be relieved of the burden of making these decisions in a time of crisis. Our estate planning attorneys will listen to your concerns, learn about your medical needs and helping you prepare a living will that clearly communicates your wishes for end-of-life care. If you need assistance preparing a living will or guidance on any estate planning matter, contact Wiles Law Firm today to speak with our attorneys.


Wiles Law Firm, LLC helps clients with their estate planning needs in Charleston, South Carolina and the surrounding areas such as West Ashley, Summerville, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, and John's Island.

Information on this website is not legal advice. Further, viewing of the enclosed information does not create an attorney-client relationship with Wiles Law Firm, LLC. Matters will be handled by attorneys who primarily practice out of our office in Charleston County located at 852 Lowcountry Blvd., Ste. 101, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464. M. Emerson Wiles, III is the attorney responsible for this advertisement.

Any result Wiles Law Firm, LLC may achieve on behalf of one client in one particular matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients. Please contact a South Carolina estate planning attorney or one of our attorneys with Wiles Law Firm, LLC for a consultation regarding your unique estate plan.



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852 Lowcountry Blvd., Suite 101, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
| Phone: 843-718-0232

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