Can Someone Sign My Living Will Form For Me?

This is a common question for adult children of parents who may find it difficult to sign their living will form. As time goes on, their physical infirmity may prevent them from actually signing the living will. As an adult son or daughter, can you sign a will for them?

This is can be done if the testator (person signing the living will) cannot otherwise sign. This is usually because of infirmity of age. As stated above, this is typically done by an adult family member. There is no requirement of having signed for your parents before, although that certainly helps.

testator must clearly direct the other person to sign the living will formThe key is the testator must clearly direct the other person to sign the living will form. There can be absolutely no doubt in this situation.

Many states have amended their probate codes 1) to make this available. There must be an express and clear direction by the testator to have this done. Further, the signing must be in the “conscious presence” of the testator. This typically means in the physical proximity of the testator, who can readily be aware the signature is being properly placed on the living will. But, this does not mean it has to be in the testator’s direct line of sight.

Example: Joy has been relying upon her daughter for some time to sign paperwork. On the occasion of her signing the living will form, Joy was sitting upright in bed, but has trouble moving her head from side to side. It would have been easy for her to turn completely to the left and see the signing on a table nearby, but this was not possible. So, with the table as close to the bed as possible, the daughter instructed her mother that she was now signing it. Her mother could not see the actual signing of the living will. But her mother could easily hear and understand what was going on. This will be sufficient.

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