When it comes to setting up an estate plan in Florida, you are probably familiar with some of the more common documents, such as a will or power of attorney.
However, you may have heard of something called a living will and wonder what it is and if it is different from a regular will. The answer is yes, a living will is different from a will.
A will is a document that states who you would like to receive your property left behind after you die. A will does not go into effect until your death.
What a living will covers
A living will is a document that goes into effect if you become incapacitated and are unable to communicate your wishes about medical care or treatments that you would like. The purpose of a living will is to let your doctors and medical providers know what you would like done if you cannot communicate your decisions to them.
For example, if you fall into a coma and are not expected to ever wake up but could technically be kept alive with the help of medical equipment, you might want the equipment turned off. This is the type of information that goes into a living will.
What a living will means for you and your loved ones
There are many benefits to a living will. One of the biggest advantages is that it provides your family members and loved ones, who will be the ones communicating with your doctors, with peace of mind knowing that your wishes are being carried out.
In the situation described above, it is easy to imagine the anguish and pain that your loved ones would go through if they are forced to make a decision about turning off your life support machines when they don’t know if that’s what you would want. A living will prevents this type of nightmare scenario.
Preparing a living will involves several steps and requirements. It is important to know these to make sure your living will is legally valid.