A living will is a written directive that allows you to state your wishes regarding what sort of end-of-life care you want to receive.
Florida law recognizes the right of any capable adult to create a living will, which can then be used if that person becomes incapacitated and unable to communicate their wishes to their doctor and loved ones.
A living will can state your desire for specific treatments, procedures, and forms of pain management, and dictate what sort of life-support procedures you wish your doctor to perform.
Why create a living will?
A person can create a living will for a variety of reasons, but some of the most common reasons for creating a living will include:
- Sickness or declining health
- An upcoming surgery or operation
- Being diagnosed with a terminal condition
- The desire to make certain instructions clear to your health care professional
- Designating someone to make health care decisions for you
- Moving to another state and the need to update your estate plan
- Advances in medical technology that change the way you think about future treatment and care
There are many advantages to creating a living will.
Four of the most important benefits include:
- Being prepared. When you create a living will, you have to think about future worst-case-scenarios, and how you wish to be treated if you become incapacitated. This sort of contemplation can help you prepare for the future, both legally and emotionally.
- It keeps the power in your hands. A living will prevents others from making decisions on your behalf, and allows you to maintain control over which medical procedures and treatments you wish to undertake down the road if you’re unable to communicate.
- It can prevent arguments and future confusion. Besides medical professionals, family members have a say in what happens to you. If they disagree about how to proceed because your wishes were unclear or there is no living will, then there is the risk of conflict at a difficult time.
- It can give you some peace of mind to know what sort of care you will receive in the future, and you are prepared for any scenario.
Contact the law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan
We are Central Florida’s leading estate planning and elder law firm and the only Florida law firm with two attorneys board certified in both Wills, Trusts and Estates and Elder Law.
We have years of experience helping people plan for their future and that of their loved ones.