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Do you need a living will?

On Behalf of | May 3, 2024 | Living Will |

Most people know what a will is and understand the purpose of having a will drafted and executed. A living will can also be an valuable part of an estate plan.

Before you decide if a living will is something you need, it is important to understand what it is. A living will is sometimes called an advance directive or a health care directive.

While a will determines how your assets are distributed after you pass away, a living will declares your intentions for end-of-life care if you become incapacitated and cannot make or verbalize decisions for yourself.

The difference between a will and a living will

A will and living will are two separate documents that serve different purposes. You can have a will and living will at the same time since your living will controls what happens while you are still alive. Once you pass away, your other will goes into effect.

As with a regular will, there are requirements that you must meet for your living will to be valid. Florida law does not require that a living will be notarized, but it does require that it be signed in the presence of two witnesses. One witness cannot be your spouse or a blood relative.

How a living will helps your loved ones

There are many benefits to having a living will. It provides your family guidance if they are forced to make decisions on your medical treatment in the case of terminal or end-stage conditions.

Additionally, it makes these decisions clearer for medical professionals who are treating you. Having a living will potentially helps avoid disputes between family members about the right decision to make or what you would like done.

You might still wonder if a living will is something you need. Ask yourself if your family members or loved ones would know what you would want done if you suddenly became unable to speak for yourself.

Thinking about these topics is difficult. However, preparing a living will could mean less stress for your loved ones.