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A living will can speak for you during end-of-life phase

As human beings, we generally cannot know when the end comes. But we know that it will happen eventually, so planning ahead for the inevitable at least gives us the chance to control what happens to our property after we die.

Florida law also gives you some control over your medical decisions at the end of your life, even for people who are unable to communicate those desires to doctors, due to a severe accident or illness. A living will is a document that many people include in their estate plan, but unlike a will, it takes effect while the testator is still alive.

The living will is the testator’s chance to tell doctors and relatives how far they should go to extend his or her life in a life-threatening situation. For example, if the testator wants physicians to use feeding tubes, respirators and similar devices to keep them alive, he or she can make that clear in the living will. If the testator does not wish to be kept alive that way, he or she can leave instructions not to intervene to that extent.

Needless to say, it is an emotional and difficult time when a parent or spouse is at the end of their life. Without a living will, your family may disagree on key medical decisions, such as whether to put you on a respirator. This can cause further strife, and more importantly the decision could be the one you would not want, if you could have made your wishes known in the moment.

With a living will, you can rest assured that no end-of-life care decisions will go against your desires.

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