What are Living Wills?
A living will is a type of legal document in which a person specifically outlines his or her wishes in regard to extended medical care. It can also be known as an advance directive or health care directive.
The main purpose of a living will is for a person to expressly outline what types of life-prolonging measures they want to be used should they be incapacitated. If there are any treatments that you do not want to be used, or if there is a time limit you want to be kept alive by machines or treatments, you can give this information in your living will.
The biggest benefit of a living will is that it allows you to give your wishes before anything happens, meaning that in a worst-case scenario, your loved ones will have a detailed record of the kinds of decisions you would want them to make in regard to your treatment. Living wills can be altered at any time so long as you have the capacity to do so.
If a situation arises in which you are incapacitated but your health is not in such a critical condition that your life is threatened, your living will will not be activated. For these types of cases, what you would need is a health care power of attorney, someone who is specifically designated to make medical decisions on your behalf. This person is ideally someone who has a good idea of what your wishes would be in any given situation.
For more information about living wills and how to compose one for yourself, speak with the Florida estate planning attorneys at the Charles Law Offices.