NOT JUST FOR THE ELDERLY
If you become terminally ill, are in a persistent vegetative state, or suffer from an end-stage condition and cannot make medical decisions about your health care or cannot communicate your wishes, what kind of medical treatment would you want? A Florida Living Will ensures that your wishes will be carried out regarding end-of-life treatment.
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.
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Florida Living Will FAQ
What’s the difference between a Living Will and a Last Will and Testament?
While your Last Will and Testament takes effect upon your death, a Living Will takes effect while you are still living. It is a type of Advance Directive that states your desires, expresses them in advance, and is legally binding.
Can’t I just tell someone what my preferences are?
At the Flammia Elder Law firm, we highly recommend that a Living Will be in writing, and that this document become a part of your Estate Plan while you are healthy. The firm can also assist you in preparing an Advance Directive that is more comprehensive. For instance, you may also designate a Health Care Surrogate.
What types of treatment does a Living Will cover?
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
- The use of breathing machines
- Resuscitation if your heart or breathing stops
- Organ or tissue donation
Who should have a Living Will?
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.