Search Site

Living Wills: Not just for Senior Citizens

Today, Your Legal Corner will discuss “Living Wills: Not just for Senior Citizens.”

Veteran’s Day was celebrated this past Wednesday. Many of our “seasoned citizens” served us during times of turmoil and upheaval. While we should thank our vets each day, Veteran’s Day provides an opportunity as a country to formally recognize their sacrifice. They put themselves in harms way where their fortune can change suddenly in a matter of moments.

Life can change suddenly for us all. Sudden illness, motor vehicle accidents and injuries around the home can unexpectedly and dramatically change the direction of our lives. While we cannot predict when life will deal us a bad hand, there are certain steps we can take for ourselves and our loved ones to guide us during catastrophic events.

Please consider creating a living will to ensure your beliefs and intentions are carried out should you sustain a sudden, serious injury or illness. Importantly, a living will needs to be created before one becomes incapacitated to be given legal effect.

Living Will

A living will or advanced medical directive is a legal document that allows people to make important medical decisions about how they want to be cared for. Do you want to be kept alive on a respirator or ventilator? What if you are in a coma for an extended period of time? Do you want a feeding tube to be utilized for your care?

Not just for the Old

When one hears the term “living will,” they naturally may think it is only for old people. While “seasoned citizens” should certainly have a living will, young individuals who are 18 years or older should have one as well.

When a young person sustains a serious illness or injury, they are typically healthy enough to survive a long time. Our bodies are very resilient when we are young.

Consider the case of Terri Schiavo, a 27-year-old woman who suffered a heart attack in her home. She was resuscitated but suffered massive brain damage due to lack of oxygen, was left comatose and in a vegetative state.

Without a living will, her condition triggered a 15-year court battle between her parents and husband involving 14 appeals and numerous hearings that ultimately resulted in the removal of her feeding tube and death in 2005.

Appoint a Healthcare Representative

In addition to expressing your wishes regarding life-sustaining treatment, your living will should also name your healthcare representative. A healthcare representative has the right to make all healthcare decisions for you, including the right to refuse medical treatment.

Your healthcare representative has the right to review your medical records, receive information from your physician and provide input regarding your medical condition and treatment. Except in emergencies, a physician is required to get informed consent for your treatment from your healthcare representative.

Your Beliefs

Most importantly, a living will ensures your beliefs, values and preferences will be respected in case you are unable to express those decisions yourself. By doing so, your loved ones, already upset over your condition will be saved unnecessary stress, trauma and expense regarding your future care.

A living will is a gift to you and your family regardless of how young or old you may be.

Till next time, God bless, keep smiling, when Your Legal Corner, will discuss “Tips to know how much your divorce should cost.”

Victoria M. Dalton is an attorney with the law offices of Hoffman DiMuzio.

Send questions, or comments to Victoria at [email protected]. Or call 856-845-8243.

Please note that Your Legal Corner was created to provide educational articles about the law and is not legal advice. To view other YLC articles, see


Speak to a proven New Jersey attorney now
Call 856.238.5183 or click to schedule your consultation
  • 5-Star Review

    Posted On

    "We came to the office upset, concerned and profoundly unsure of what to do. Mr. Hoffman sat with us, explained options, reassured us and told us he would be there for us. He more than delivered on that commitment. If you are considering a legal firm, go no further, Hoffman-DiMuzio needs to be your choice."

  • 5-Star Review

    Posted On

    " Joe Hoffman is amazing. We cannot say enough about how well we were treated from the moment we sat down until the positive resolution! Stellar customer experience!"

  • 5-Star Review

    By Renee Zagarella

    "Wonderful, knowledgeable, kind, and informative! Within days following my free consultation, I was provided with an overview of my appointment with helpful information about my case. I truly appreciate the recommendation I was given at this firm."

  • 5-Star Review

    By Anita Campana

    "I was so very impressed with Hoffman DiMuzio from the moment I walked in. Everyone I had come across was so professional and courteous."

  • 5-Star Review

    By Mike W

    "Hoffman DiMuzio is a top notch firm. Their attorneys and staff are extremely knowledgeable and go above and beyond for you. I recommend them to everyone in need of legal service."

  • 5-Star Review

    By Harry McCormick

    When my significant other was falsely accused of committing a crime, there was only one place to turn. that place was hoffman dimuzio.

  • 5-Star Review

    Posted On Google

    "Joe Hoffman Jr took on our case and fought tooth and nail for us. Exposing the truth and serving justice for us, we felt completely vindicated. For any legal matter, criminal, traffic or otherwise, they gained two very satisfied life long customers! Thank you Mr Hoffman!"

Joseph J.  Hoffman, Jr. Attorney Photo
Joseph J. Hoffman, Jr.
Senior Partner

For more than 40 years, Mr. Hoffman has protected the interest of his clients through diligence and hard work on legal matters, both large and small. An honors graduate of Rutgers University Law School and a native of Gloucester County, Mr. Hoffman has won numerous accolades for excellence in the practice of law.

Kenneth A. DiMuzio, Sr. Attorney Photo
Kenneth A. DiMuzio, Sr.
Senior Partner

An attorney with over 45 years of professional experience, Mr. DiMuzio concentrates his practice on personal injury and workers’ compensation matters. A graduate of Georgetown University Law School and a native of Gloucester County, Mr. DiMuzio has been honored time and again for his professionalism and ethics in the practice of law.

Ernest L.  Alvino, Jr. Attorney Photo
Ernest L. Alvino, Jr.

Ernest L. Alvino, Jr. About Ernest L. Alvino, Jr. concentrates his practice in the area of workplace injuries; construction accidents; product injuries; trucking accidents; auto injuries; medical negligence and crime victim advocacy. Ernie is a lifelong Gloucester County resident, living in Mullica Hill with his wife and children. Ernie worked his way through school as…

Anooshay Asim Attorney Photo
Anooshay Asim

About Anooshay Asim Ms. Anooshay Asim is a family law attorney with The Law Offices of Hoffman DiMuzio. Her practice is focused on divorce and child custody matters. Prior to joining Hoffman DiMuzio, Ms. Asim was an avid traveler and had even lived in numerous cities across the United States as well as internationally. Her…

Jeremiah J. Atkins Attorney Photo
Jeremiah J. Atkins

Jeremiah J. Atkins About Mr. Atkins joined the firm of Hoffman DiMuzio in February 2010. Mr. Atkins’ practice covers a wide variety of employment-related matters before New Jersey State and Federal courts and administrative agencies, with a focus on discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, family leave and whistleblowing claims. Mr. Atkins also regularly represents the interests…

  • Imagine... One law firm, for life.

    New Jersey attorneys for all legal matters

    For all life's stages. For all South Jersey.

Six convenient locations

We'll meet at the office nearest you

  • Franklinville
    Lawyers Near Franklinville
  • Turnersville
    Lawyers Near Turnersville
  • Mullica Hill
    Lawyers Near Mullica Hill
  • Woodbury
    Lawyers Near Woodbury
  • Sewell
    Lawyers Near Sewell
  • Philadelphia
    Philadelphia Office
  • AV Preeminent
    Top Attorneys NJ
    Best Lawyer Award
    Best Trial Lawyers
  • AV Preeminent
  • Best Attorneys NJ
  • Best Lawyer Award
  • Best Trial Lawyers
Take action now by filling out the form below

Submitting this form does not create an attorney-client relationship, but a lawyer from our firm will contact you as soon as possible.

Quick Contact Form