While it may be difficult to imagine and foresee your own incapacity, it is important to make preparations to ensure that your decisions about health care will be respected in the event you become incapacitated. Florida law allows for a competent adult to give advance instruction as to how they wish to be treated in the event of their incapacity. A living will is an effective legal document to give such an instruction.
A living will is a written statement regarding how you wish medical decision be made in the event you are unable to make such decisions yourself. The document instructs your physician to provide, withhold, or withdraw life-prolonging medical assistance if you are unable to make such a decision yourself. A living will preserves your sentiments regarding the type of medical treatment you wish or do not wish to have, and protects those wishes in the event of your incapacity.
It is important to note that a living will dictates the type of medical care that will be provided in the case of your incapacity. If you are competent and able to make decisions yourself, you will instruct the type of medical treatment you wish to receive. With the continuous advancements in medical science, a living will is an essential estate planning tool to ensure that your wishes regarding medical treatment, or lack thereof, be honored even if you are no longer able to express those wishes yourself.