Florida Living Will Preparation

What Are Living Wills?

A Florida Living Will ensures that your medical care wishes are met regarding end-of-life treatment. If you become terminally ill and cannot make medical decisions about your health care, or cannot communicate your wishes, what kind of medical treatment would you want?

Florida law recognizes your right to refuse medical treatment you do not want or to request treatment you do want in the event you lose the ability to make decisions yourself. A Living Will is a legal document that clearly states your end-of-life choices. It explains how you feel about the care intended to sustain your life, and whether you want to be kept alive by extraordinary life-saving measures or life-prolonging procedures.

Florida Living Wills – Advanced Directives

While your Last Will and Testament takes effect upon your death, a Living Will takes effect while you are still living. It is one form of an advance directive – stating your desires, expressed in advance and legally binding.

I highly recommend that a Living Will be in writing, and that this document becomes a part of your estate planning while you are healthy. I can also assist you in preparing an advance directive that is more comprehensive. For instance, you may also designate a Health Care Surrogate.

A Living Will expresses your wishes concerning treatment in the event that you have a terminal condition, an end-stage condition, or are in a persistent vegetative state. The right to make decisions concerning your own end-of-life treatment includes the right to accept or refuse medical treatment such as:

  • Assisted feeding
  • Dialysis
  • The use of breathing machines
  • Resuscitation if your heart or breathing stops
  • Organ or tissue donation

Not Just for the Elderly

Everyone should have a written Living Will. Without one, it will be presumed that everything possible will be done to keep you alive. It is extremely important that you make your own decisions.

Also, by expressing your wishes in advance to medical professionals and family, you avoid leaving your spouse or children with the difficult decisions about your medical treatment options during an emotionally charged time.

Contact Florida Attorney Kathleen Flammia if you would like to discuss drafting a Living Will or other advance directives. We also have more information for you in our Free Resources.