The Importance of Having a Living Will and Health Care Appointment

A Living Will is not to be confused with a legal will, which disposes of a person's property upon his or her death.  A Living Will directs the provision, withholding, or withdrawal of life prolonging procedures in the event one should have a terminal condition.  In Florida, "life prolonging procedures" also includes the provision of food and water to terminally ill patients.  If you chose to direct in your Living Will that your life not be prolonged, you can also request that you are administered pain medication or other similar treatement to alleviate suffering.

A Health Care Surrogate is a person designated by you to make all health care decisions during any period in which you may become incapacitated.  You can also designate an alternate health care surrogate in the even your primary surrogate is unwilling or unable to handle the responsibility at the time he or she is needed.

There are very specific rules involving the signing a validity of Living Wills and Health Care Appointments.  For instance, two witnesses are needed for each document and neither witness may be a spouse or blood relative of the maker of the will.  The health care surrogate cannot act as a witness for the Health Care Appointment document.  If the maker of the Living Will is physically unable to sign, one of the witnesses can sign in the presence of and at the direction of the maker.

It is important to hire an experienced attorney to draft and handle the signing of these documents for you. 

The Law Office of Summer R. Nichols, LLC has handled hundreds of wills, living wills, and health care appointments.  Please Call Us Today to make an appointment to have this done and feel secure knowing that you did!