What is a Living Will and Do I Really Need One?
In the State of Florida, preparing a Living Will can help medical professionals and loved ones effectively carry out end-stage medical treatment directives.
What is a Living Will?
According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, nearly two-thirds of Americans have not taken steps to protect themselves with a Health Care Directive.
A Living Will is an important part of one’s estate planning documents that
It is important that a Living Will meets state requirements pertaining to the need for witnesses or notarization to be considered valid. According to Florida Statute, a Living Will need not be notarized but must be executed in the presence of two witnesses, of whom at least one cannot be a spouse or a blood relative.
A Living Will is effective from the moment it is signed, and when a person has been deemed unable to communicate his or her wishes regarding medical treatment. It can be revoked at any time.
Do I really need a Living Will?
In Florida, Living Wills are typically used jointly with a Designation of Healthcare Surrogate directive which appoints a specific person to carry out a person’s end-of-life wishes as written down in the Living Will.
Although some Living Wills may contain directives regarding organ donations or autopsies that remain in effect briefly after one’s death, any authority granted by a Living Will stops when the person passes away.
If you are vacillating over whether you need to invest in the preparation of a Health Care Directive, it is important to ask yourself: Would your loved ones know your exact wishes regarding your medical treatment if you were unable to verbalize your intent? Would your loved ones, or even doctors, be legally bound to carry out your intent? Would you want to leave such a difficult decision up to your loved ones during such trying times?
Planning ahead for
However, to avoid undue stress and to ensure that your intent regarding
If you would like to speak to an attorney regarding your options, contact us today.