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What is a Living Will?

When most people think about estate planning, they only consider making a Last Will and Testament. However, there are many other important documents that should be considered in an estate plan, including a living will. The estate planning attorneys at The Soto Law Office, P.A. in Altamonte Springs are here to help explain what a living will is and how helpful it can be to you and your loved ones.

Living Wills

A living will is a document that dictates your desires for medical and palliative care. It is used in situations in which you are unable to communicate those wishes to healthcare professionals on your own due to an illness, injury, or if you are in a vegetative state such as a terminal or end-stage medical condition. A living will is different from a healthcare surrogate (sometimes referred to as a medical power of attorney). A healthcare surrogate elects a person to make medical decisions on your behalf. Some of the most common decisions found in a living will include the following:

  • The use of artificial means to sustain life

  • Palliative medication

  • Withholding or withdrawing food and water

  • Refusal of medical treatment or surgery

An experienced estate planning attorney can go over all of your options in a living will and help you draft a document that accurately reflects your wishes for final stage care.

Why is a Living Will Important?

A living will is an important document to have in your estate plan for many reasons. First, it eliminates the need for your loved ones to make difficult medical decisions on your behalf during a challenging time. Second, a living will can enforce your wishes for medical care if there is disagreement or indecision between family members. Healthcare professionals are bound by the terms of a person’s living will over the opinions of loved ones. Finally, while most people do not like to consider it, an accident or illness can happen at any time. Therefore, it is important to have a Living Will as part of your estate plan from the beginning in case the unexpected happens.

Call or Contact Our Office Now

If you would like to speak with an expert in Florida estate planning about creating a living will, call or contact The Soto Law Office today to schedule a consultation.

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