VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

Florida living will basics explored

Florida is home to a considerable number of retirees who have moved to the East Coast after having worked hard for years. However, inevitably, their health starts to deteriorate over time. We all want to minimize the suffering that our elder loved ones have to endure at the end stages. We want them to retain some semblance of dignity. Here is where the concept of estate planning could play a pivotal role.

Estate planning, effectively, is the arrangement of the transfer of one’s assets in anticipation of impending death. Estate planning instruments include trusts, wills and the probate process in general.

Today, let’s examine the basics of a very specific type of estate planning instrument: Living wills.

If your elder loved one (or other loved one) is affected by a terminal illness or is in a perennial vegetative state, a living will allows him or her to explicitly state his or her preferences about health care.

The presiding physician has the authority to decide when the living will kicks in. This happens once the physician determines that the person in question is no longer capable of making these decisions by himself or herself. If your loved one is interested in donating organs, living wills cover these aspects as well.

Florida living will requirements are as follows:

  • The person must be at least 18 years old.
  • The person must be mentally and physically sound.
  • Two competent witnesses should be present at the will signing.

The creation of a living will makes it easier for your family members, at a delicate and difficult time. The vitality of this unique estate planning instrument cannot be stressed enough.

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