Can a Family Override a Living Will in Mississippi?

There is a reason why Mississippi living wills are such crucial legal documents: in almost all cases, no one can change them but the document’s creator.

A living will states in writing (or orally under specific circumstances) the type of medical care you want f you become medically incapacitated. This document can outline several things, including:

  • Which types of life-sustaining procedures you want to have performed (and those you don’t);
  • Length of life-sustaining treatment
  • The person you want to enforce these decisions as power of attorney
  • Organ and tissue donation requests

What if Your Family Doesn’t Agree With Your Wishes?

This is a more common situation than you’d think. Families may try to contest the living will to have doctors perform life-sustaining treatments that you’ve said you don’t want. A living will is one way to safeguard your wishes while protecting your family from making these decisions for you. Unless your living will gives them authority, your family cannot change your decisions.

Additionally, doctors are not legally required to follow the wishes outlined in the living will, but most will do so if they are made aware of the document. However, if the doctor feels there is an ethical obligation to provide a certain level of treatment, he or she may override your wishes.

One way to prevent this situation is to discuss your wishes with all of these individuals while still healthy and able to do so. Open communication can save plenty of heartache and difficulties down the road.

Mississippi has a statute that contains a power of attorney and an Advanced Healthcare Directive which is universally honored. This is the best way to make your wishes known.

Changing Your Mississippi Living Will

You can certainly name a different person to act as your agent under medical power of attorney. You can also make changes to your living will as often as you’d like as your priorities and life change.


Creating a living will doesn’t have to be overwhelming and difficult. Before you create your living will, it is recommended you discuss the various options with your doctor, family members, and a knowledgeable Jackson or Brandon estate planning attorney. Call The Law Offices of Rusty Williard today at (601) 824-9797 to learn more and schedule a free consultation.