What is a Living Will, and How Do I Get One?

Florida law gives legal and competent adults the right to make decisions regarding their own healthcare. You can choose which treatments you want and even refuse medical care completely if you wish. However, when you are unable to make these decisions due to incapacity, an advanced directive called a Living Will can ensure that your future healthcare wishes are followed.

What is a Living Will?

Unlike regular Wills, which direct the distribution of your estate after you pass, a Living Will protects you (and your loved ones) during your lifetime.

The unfortunate reality is that critical healthcare decisions are often made at a time when a patient is mentally incapacitated, unconscious, or otherwise unable to direct their medical team, and failure to provide advance instructions can create difficulties for you and your loved ones.

With a Living Will, you can:

  • Specify your wishes about any life-prolonging treatment.
  • Appoint a healthcare surrogate to make medical decisions for you.
  • Name an alternate healthcare surrogate if your original choice is unwilling or unable to act when the time comes.

By taking time to plan now, you can spare your loved ones any unnecessary stress, avoid decisions that are contrary to your wishes, and make sure that your care is overseen by someone you choose.

How Do You Get a Living Will?

In Florida, Living Wills must be signed and witnessed by two people, at least one of whom is not your spouse or a relative. Although you aren’t legally required to prepare it with an attorney’s help, there are several advantages to doing so, namely the fact that an experienced estate planning attorney will ensure that all possible scenarios are covered and any critical questions are answered.

Once your Living Will has been drawn up and executed, keep it accessible to those who may need it in the future, such as your primary and alternate healthcare surrogate, your doctor, and even your attorney, who can ensure that the right parties get it if necessary. You should also keep a copy in a safe location and carry a card indicating that you have a living will and where it can be found.

Protect Your Future Now

Living Wills are a sensitive subject, as no one wants to think about being incapacitated, in a coma, or otherwise facing end-of-life issues. However, it is crucial to be prepared! If you are injured or become seriously ill, it can be too late to make your wishes known, so talk to a Florida Estate Planning attorney now.

At Zamora, Hillman & Villavicencio, we have years of experience helping Florida residents put together critical healthcare documents. You can rely on us to help you create a living will that accurately represents your wishes and prevents you from receiving unnecessary treatments. Contact Zamora, Hillman & Villavicencio today to get started!

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Zamora, Hillman & Villavicencio

Our firm deals with legal matters involving your loved ones, and our familial operation is prepared to give you caring and effective counsel during what might be a difficult or emotional time.

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