Most people find planning for unfortunate eventualities of life, like medical emergencies and death, to be uncomfortable. Among the many documents that you can consider when making end-of-life preparations is a living will, and while there is no great joy to be had in thinking about worst-case scenarios, you and your loved ones will be glad that you planned ahead.
Our compassionate team of experts will do everything possible to make you feel at ease and supported during these difficult discussions. You can move forward with your planning knowing there will be no surprise fees associated with our legal services because our flat-fee pricing system provides transparency for your peace of mind.
What does a living will do?
If you already have a will, that’s great! However, don’t confuse a living will with a last will and testament, because they do very different things. A living will allows you to decide how your medical care will be handled in the event of a sudden severe illness or unexpected accident. It is a type of advance directive, or health care directive, that gives you the opportunity to lay out exactly what you want your care to involve in the event you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions.
It can give you control over your own care during times when you may seem powerless. Your loved ones will also be spared the burden of facing these difficult decisions without being able to consult you.
What should be included in a living will?
We recognize that planning for any and every scenario is an impossibility, but we will do our best to include provisions that address your wishes clearly and explicitly. Many living wills include terms that involve:
Life-prolonging medical care
Acceptable medical procedures
Pain medication protocol
Invasive procedures like surgery
Life support decisions
You may also include provisions related to certain diseases or disorders if you have been diagnosed with, or have a family history or susceptibility to, a specific condition.
How do you create a living will?
We are so glad you asked because there are strict statutory requirements for creating a valid living will. You must sign the document in front of two witnesses, one of which cannot be your spouse or relative. Having it notarized is always a good idea, although it is not required in Florida. We are familiar with the related regulations and would love to help you whenever you’re ready to get started.
Some people find that a living will is too limited in its scope to be effective on its own. You can accompany it with other documents like a designation of a health care surrogate, but the final decision on what to include is up to you.
If you would like to discuss your options, you can reach us at 727-477-2255 to schedule a consultation.