In Key West, Florida a living will, also known as a "healthcare directive" is a document which lays out instructions for your family and your doctor concerning healthcare matters should you become so ill that you are unable to make or express such decisions.
This can be very helpful in avoiding disputes between family members who otherwise might not know what your wishes on this subject are.
For example, many people state that they would not want to be kept alive by artificial means if they are in a vegetative state, and have no reasonable chance of recovering. Others, however, would like to be kept alive if they have any chance, no matter how small, of recovery. If your wishes on this matter aren't known, your doctor or family members might have no idea what you would have wanted, and may make a judgment that goes against your wishes.
This can lead to arguments between loved ones, some of whom might want to keep the patient on life support, while others believe that he or she would not want to be kept alive in such a state. If the patient's wishes had been made clear beforehand in a legally-binding document, such infighting could be avoided.
How to Create A Living Will in Key West, Florida
Before taking any steps to establish a living will, you should make your wishes known to your family. While it's ultimately your decision (and your family will probably recognize that), they will probably appreciate having their opinions heard. Also, implementing a living will can be much easier if the family already knows what it says, with the document simply making it legally-binding.
You then need to actually draft your living will. This can be made much easier if you have an experienced Key West, Florida attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly complicated, having professional assistance is always advisable.
In most states, a living will must follow all the formalities as testamentary wills (wills that dictate what is to be done with a person's property after their death).
While these required formalities vary by state, there are a few common elements. For example, most wills and living wills need to be witnessed and signed by 2 people who have no direct interest in the subject matter.
Do I Need A Key West, Florida Living Will Attorney?
While not absolutely necessary, a good estates attorney in Key West, Florida can be very helpful in drafting a living will. A lawyer will understand the intricacies of state and local law, and can craft a document around those laws, to ensure that your wishes are followed, to the extent allowed.