A sudden accident or the onset of a debilitating or terminal illness can leave even the most vibrant people in Florida incapable of communicating their wishes. Creating a living will may help you avoid unwanted suffering and unnecessary health care expenses should the worse come to pass. At Fisher & Wilsey, P.A., we have helped numerous people understand the importance of including health care directives in their estate plans and execute the necessary documents to ensure their wishes will be carried out, even if they cannot speak them.
Many decisions must be made in emergency medical situations. If you are unconscious or otherwise unable to express yourself, these choices may be put in the hands of a family member or your physician. This can cause your loved ones further stress during an already difficult time and may result in you getting a treatment that you would not have agreed to yourself.
The decisions you would make about your medical care are likely informed by your values. Without a detailed living will, a family member may have to make these choices based on what they think you would want, or worse, they may base them off their own feelings or values.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a living will allows you to specify the types of treatments you would and would not want if you are left permanently unconscious or are dying. For example, would you want to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation if your heart stops beating or you stop breathing? What about the use of a ventilator, feeding tube or intravenous hydration? Your living will can serve as your voice, informing doctors of your choices regarding how you want to be treated in such situations.
Used on their own or paired with health care proxies and other advance directives, living wills are an essential estate plan element for people of all ages and health conditions. More information about estate planning is available on our website.