How Do You Get Started On A Living Will?
- Assess Your Goals Near the End of Life
This is a problematic roadblock for most of us since it requires us to consider terrible “what-if” scenarios such as:
- You can no longer think or speak clearly
- You can no longer recognize or interact with family or friends
- You are in severe pain that high doses of medication can only manage
- You are in extreme discomfort nearly all of the time
- Your potential treatment would include severe side effects, with only a slight chance of recovery
- You are permanently dependent on machines for breathing, nutrition, or hydration
When planning a living will, you can take control and map out these situations. Your stated wishes can be tremendously helpful to your family, doctors, and, most importantly, you.
- Establish Your Personal Medical Preferences
The more clearly you can articulate your medical preferences, the less confusion and disagreement there will be if you do become incapacitated. Your loved ones can then carry out your decisions without grappling with doubt, anxiety, and argument.
As part of your living will, you can guide on potential issues such as:
- How you want to be medicated – some people want all the medication their bodies can handle. Others have religious or spiritual beliefs that tilt otherwise toward avoiding pharmaceutical medications for specific conditions.
- Whether and how long you want to maintain life support if you are in a “vegetative” state.
- Whether you want your organs and tissues donated after you pass away.
- Prepare Your Directive Following Legal Requirements
Under Florida law, a living will must be signed by its maker in the presence of two witnesses, at least one of whom is neither the spouse nor a blood relative. Florida will recognize a living will from another state if it complies with the laws of that state or complies with the laws of Florida. You want to make sure your living will is effective when needed, and it is crucial to complete it within Florida’s legal requirements. Consultation with an experienced Tampa estate-planning attorney can guide you and make this part of the process easier.
- Safely Store and Distribute Copies of Your Living Will
You can have a clear, detailed living will that meets Florida’s legal requirements, but it does no good if nobody else knows about it. If your living is not accessible to your physician or your family, your careful planning could go to waste.
To prevent confusion, you will want to make sure your physician and/or hospital have a copy of your living will as part of your medical records. Your family will also need copies in the event of an emergency or change in medical providers.
Contact the Tampa Estate Planning Attorneys at Strategic Counsel Law Group to Discuss Your Living Will
At Strategic Counsel Law Group, our dedicated team of compassionate Tampa living wills attorneys will take the time to explain what a living will does and discuss your preferences with you. Call us now at 813-286-1700 or schedule a consultation online to put your plan into action.