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What is a living will and do you need one?

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Most Fort Lauderdale area residents have heard of a will and many of us have had ours created. But a will is just a small portion of an estate plan. Estate planning encompasses many different matters and one item that you may not have is a living will. So, what is a living will and why do you need one?

A living will, also known as a health care directive, is an important document that guides your family in making medical decisions for you when you are no longer able to do so. This document is not just important for older people. It is important for everyone because you never know when your health will take a turn for the worse.

A living will provides important direction to families and medical professionals regarding your wishes regarding life-saving procedures. It only goes into effect when you are in a terminal state, end-stage of life or in a vegetative state. It helps to avoid disputes among family members and doctors as to what you would actually want.

There are many benefits to having a living will in place. These include:

  • Give guidance to your family and doctors when you can no longer communicate.
  • Provide clarity and close to your loved ones.
  • Prevent conflicts among family members
  • Limit the emotional burden among loved ones.
  • Ensure you have the authority to dictate how you want to live and die.

A legal professional who is skilled in estate planning understands how important having a living will in place can be. They understand the requirements of a living will under Florida law and can draft a document that protects their client’s wishes.




Photo of Jennifer D. Sharpe