That’s a good question. Many people think of a Living Will as part of a typical Estate Planning package. Let’s make sure we understand what a “living will” is first. A Living Will is essentially an open letter to your family, friends, doctors and nurses regarding your end of life wishes. That sounds like a good idea, and almost all of the time there’s nothing wrong with having a living will. The problem is that in some cases, the living will can cause problems. Why? The reason is that in New York, the Living Will is not a legal document: it doesn’t have any legal effect unless it becomes part of the evidence in a legal proceeding involving your medical decisions. A person’s end of life decisions are supposed to be included in the Health Care Proxy: that’s the legal document in New York. The Living Will is not a legal document. So the problem comes in, potentially, where someone interprets what you wrote in the living will differently from how your agent in the Health Care Proxy decides to make medical decisions on your behalf. Someone might read the Living Will and claim that what you said in the Living Will conflicts with what your agent decides. And that could cause problems.