Where there’s a Will, there’s a Way
People often ask us “What is a Living Will?”; and “Do I need a Living Will?”
It's unfortunate that Trust & Estate practice uses the term “Will” because a Living Will is a very different document in estate planning than a Last Will & Testament.
Think of the word “cleat.” What did you just think of? If you played soccer, football or baseball you probably thought of the stud on the bottom of the athlete’s shoe. If you're a boater, you probably thought of the thing that you tie the rope or sheet to in order to keep the boat stable on the dock. A cleat; a Will.
A Last Will and Testament is a document through which you decide who is the object to your bounty, who you treasure that you're going to show your love to, who gets your stuff after you're gone, and who takes care of your affairs after you pass away. A Living Will, however, is used to determine how you will be treated during what is expected to be your final illness.
Perhaps the most important thing about a living will is that it gives instructions to your medical providers. It gives your medical team your wishes regarding your final Medical Care, and it gives your instructions directly to your medical care providers without the need of appointing an intermediary.
Simply it gives your medical care providers your instructions for your final care.
Otherwise stated, a Living Will gives instructions to your medical care providers for your wishes concerning end-of-life care. Basically, it gives your doctor's your instructions on how you wish to be treated during your final illness. Perhaps most importantly this can relieve the burden from your family members of making the difficult decision of when to remove life support or other life-sustaining medical treatment.
What else is important about living wills?
What is the difference between a Living Will and an Advanced Healthcare Directive as part of the Estate plan? It can be very confusing because the terminology can differ from state to state.
Some of the other things that a Living Will can do as part of estate planning is to state your instructions for funeral and Memorial services, so that your family is not left wondering and worrying about what you want done to celebrate your life during a time of great grief for the family. Essentially, you're leaving instructions on how you wish for your great life to be celebrated.
In some states, a Living Will is called an Advanced Medical Directive or an Advanced Healthcare Directive, and it is often combined with a Designation of Health Care Surrogate naming someone to make your medical decisions.
At Rock Solid Law, we separate these two documents so that you state your instructions directly to your medical care providers in your Living Will, and you name a decision-maker for your medical treatment under a healthcare surrogate, all properly under Florida law.
With so many people moving to Florida every day, it is no surprise that the terminology gets mixed up, because different states term estate planning different ways.
The best way to get your answers is just to give us a call set up an appointment and let us help you to do your uniquely crafted personalized estate planning.
We've been here for many years, celebrating the accomplishments of people's lives and helping people show their love to those they treasure through their estate planning documents.