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4 points to know about a living will in Florida

Planning your estate is easy to put off, but doing so can leave your family with trouble if something happens to you. Your estate plan should contain more than just a list of who is going to get what. Don't fall into the mode of thinking that you are too young to create an estate plan. Any adult is old enough to make the responsible choice and get this plan done. The living will is an important document to include in any estate plan.

Purpose of a living will

A living will lets your family members and medical professionals know what type of care you want at the end of your life. A living will only sets the standard for your medical care if you can't make your own decisions. It doesn't impact care when you can make those choices. For example, if you fall into a coma or can't communicate your wishes, the living will serves as a roadmap for your medical care plan. You can revoke the living will if you feel the need.

Points to include in the living will

Your living will should include any aspect of care you are passionate about. This can include:

  • Life support
  • Nutritional support
  • Resuscitation
  • Pain management

The living will should explain all of these points fully so that anyone who reads it knows exactly what you want to happen and what you want to avoid.

Validity of a living will

Florida law stipulates that a living will must have two witness signatures of people who saw the person sign the living will. One of the witnesses must be of no relation to the person signing the living will. This includes people related by blood or the spouse. If the person who is creating the living will can't sign the document, a witness can sign on the person's behalf in his or her presence and with the individual's direction.

Steps to take after making a living will

It is a good idea to appoint a health care surrogate to make decisions for you. This adds another level of protection to your living will because the surrogate serves as your advocate when you can't speak up for yourself. After creating the living will, present it to your health care team and facilities where you may receive care. They will place the document in your file. When you are admitted to any facility or are seen by your doctor, remind them that you hav e a living will.

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