Need-to-Know Facts on Living Wills
When it comes to estate planning, establishing a living will might be one of the most important steps you can take to give direction on your end-of-life care.
It is important to understand that a living will is different than a standard will. Standard wills are used to name beneficiaries or guardians at the time of a person’s death. Living wills exclusively provide guidance related to your preferences on the care you would like to receive if you are no longer able to make decisions due to incapacitation. A living will cannot be used to pass down property or to provide for your survivors.
While this may be a difficult subject to approach, the presence of a living will can make end-of-life decisions easier on both you and your family, should the circumstances arise.
Through this type of document, you can appoint a trusted person in your life to act on your behalf and make medical decisions for you. This is called power of attorney, and the agent you name has full legal authority to carry out your wishes if you are unable to do so. Unlike a standard will that becomes binding when its creator dies, a living will is only valid for the duration of the creator’s life. Should the creator of the document pass away, the living will immediately becomes void.
Drafting your will
Although almost any legal adult may draft a living will, most people consult a lawyer during the process. This helps ensure that your will is valid according to Florida state law and will be upheld in court, if necessary.
If you would like more information on drafting a living will, consult a skilled Tampa estate planning attorney with BaumannKangas Estate Law.