In St. Petersburg, 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 decision that goes against your wishes.
Also, individual family members may not agree on what the patient would have wanted. Disputes on this subject can be profound, and can cause irreversible damage to family relationships. But if the patient's wishes are made clear in advance, these fights can usually be avoided.
How to Create A Living Will in St. Petersburg, Florida
First of all, you should consult with your spouse/life partner and members of your immediate family, to discuss your wishes in this matter. If the directives in your living will ever become necessary, the process will go much smoother for your loved ones if there are as few surprises as possible.
You then need to actually draft your living will. This can be made much easier if you have an experienced St. Petersburg, 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, the requirements for holding a living will to be valid are the same as those required for an ordinary will, at least with respect to the formalities that must be followed.
While these requirements are not identical between individual states, there are some common similarities. For example, both testamentary and living wills usually need to be witnessed and signed by 2 people who have no direct interest in your will.
Do I Need A St. Petersburg, Florida Living Will Attorney?
While not always necessary, a good healthcare or wills attorney in St. Petersburg, Florida can make this process much easier. Lawyers, obviously, understand the law. Because of this, it is much easier for them to avoid the legal pitfalls that can make a living will unenforceable.