What Is a Living Will?

People often ask, “What is a living will?”  Living wills should be part of your estate planning. A Florida living will simply provides information about your wishes as they specifically relate to life prolonging medical treatments. This type of document is often called a health care directive, advanced directive or a physician’s directive. Whatever it is called, this document tells others what your wishes are regarding decisions and procedures that will maintain or prolong your life.

How to Put a Living Will in Place

Having this type of directive is critical especially if you have a strong opinion about this type of life prolonging procedures and mechanical tools. Even if you do not have strong feelings one way or the other, you will be helping your family to make your wishes known in advance so they don't have to guess or argue over what to do during your end of life journey. A living will provides direction to your loved ones and most importantly to your physician about your desires. When you are writing a Florida living will, you also designate who will work with your doctor to make the final decision.

Learning to Answer: “What Is a Living Will And Why are They Critical?”

What is a living will versus a testamentary will? An experienced Olsen Law Group attorney can help you through the legal process of establishing this advance directive. If you have a life threatening health condition currently, you can and should place this type of health care directive in your medical file with your physician. A legal living will needs to be dated and signed by you, and witnessed. Once in place, no physician or other family member can make changes outside of what is provided by you in the document. It is critical to think about these decisions in advance and to make your family aware of them.

Writing a living will can be challenging, since you need to consider a variety of factors. It is especially important for an advance directive to be written properly to ensure that your wishes are carried out appropriately. If there is nothing written then, your family must guess at your desires or, worse, a court may have to decide.

Perhaps you think there is no reason to make such decisions right now. If not, consider what would happen if your spouse or someone else close to you was in this type of position. Would you be able to make such decisions on their behalf? You do not want them to be put in a position to make decisions like this about you, either.

Contact a lawyer (no cost to you) at Olsen Law Group:  "What is a living will and is it right for me?"

Learn more in our "What is a living will" on our wills and trusts pages.