A Living Will Protects Your Right to Choose or Refuse Life Prolonging Medical Care
A living will and a will are two different documents used in the estate planning process. A will appoints a personal representative to administer your estate and distribute your personal property according to your wishes upon your death. A living will is a written declaration setting forth your wishes regarding life prolonging procedures. Your living will states your wishes regarding withholding, providing, or withdrawing life prolonging medical treatments if you are suffering from a terminal condition or in a situation where you are unable to express your wishes.
The decision to execute a living will is a personal decision that should not be made lightly. However, you have the right to determine if you want life prolonging treatment administered or withheld in the event you are terminally ill. When you decide to execute a living will, you want to ensure that the document is valid under Florida law so your wishes will be upheld in the event of a dispute or objection by family members or others.
At The Law Office of Richard S. Weinstein, P.A., we understand the emotional nature of making decisions regarding life prolonging medical treatments. We work with you to draft and execute a living will that expresses your desires and that will withstand objections by any party. We consider it our top priority to draft a document that will ensure you are treated with respect and dignity if you are terminally ill and cannot make decisions for yourself regarding life prolonging medical treatments.
What Steps Must Be Taken to Ensure a Living Will is Valid?
Your first step should be to contact an experienced Jupiter probate and estate planning attorney. Some people attempt a DIY living will; however, this may result in a document that is invalid and unenforceable if not drafted or executed properly. Because the decisions you are making in a living will are extremely personal and relate to life sustaining procedures, you want to ensure your living will is enforceable if someone objects or disputes your living will.
According to Florida law, your living will must have two witnesses. One of the witnesses must be an individual who is not related to you by marriage or by blood. If you are unable to sign your living will, another person may sign the living will on your behalf at your request in front of the witnesses. Because this leaves the living will open to dispute on charges of undue influence, it is always best to have an attorney draft and to be present during the execution of the living will any time the individual is directing another person to execute the living will on his or her behalf.
Do You or Your Family Member Have More Questions About Florida Living Wills?
The Law Office of Richard S. Weinstein, P.A. can answer your questions about Florida living wills and how to execute a valid, enforceable living will. Contact us by telephone 561-745-3040 or online to talk to a Palm Beach County probate attorney.