Living Wills In Florida – Where To Begin And What Steps To Take
When making financial considerations as part of your estate plan, you also want to consider healthcare issues and end-of-life care to make that process easier for you and your family. These health considerations are covered under an advanced healthcare directive, commonly known as a living will.
What is a Living Will?
A living will address issues that arise when one is physically incapacitated, specifically concerning administering, withholding, or terminating life-sustaining treatment. Living wills are authorized under Florida law as part of the Life-Prolonging Procedure Act of Florida, found in Florida Statutes Sections 765.301 through 765.309. The Act is intended to “to ensure that the rights and intentions of a person may be respected even after he or she is no longer able to participate actively in decisions concerning himself or herself, and to encourage communication among such patient, his or her family, and his or her physician.”
Under Florida’s living will statute, a living will can be used in any of the following situations:
- The individual has a terminal condition
- The individual has an end-stage condition
- The individual is in a persistent vegetative state
While it is uncomfortable to plan for these scenarios – for yourself or a loved one – this can avoid problems in the future and ensure that a person’s wishes are carried out when they can no longer speak for themselves.
Do You Need to Have a Living Will?
While you are not required to have a living will, it is a good idea in most cases. This is especially true if you have strong personal preferences or spiritual beliefs regarding the end-of-life process.
For example, you may not want your family to keep you on life support if brain function has ceased, or you may wish that your organs be donated after you pass away. These are things you can make clear in a living will so your family members and hospital staff can honor your intentions.
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.