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Implementing living wills in Florida

Drafting a living will depends on many factors, most of which involve the patient's level of illness or state of health. A living will basically states that if a person is close to passing away, due to a terminal illness or any other kind of condition, medical intervention should not be used as a means of prolonging the dying process.

Often, there is no need to make sure that a will, on these terms, will be followed by a doctor or other physician responsible in the care process. Unless a doctor truly believes that the patient can recover with proper medical intervention, whether it be medication, surgery or nutritional therapy, the doctor will enforce the will if he or she has access to this necessary and important information.

The majority of the time during this process, physicians usually continue the use of pain-reducing medications to make the transition as smooth as possible for the patient. This allows the patient to remain comfortable without lengthening the rate of death. As grim as it may sound, this may be a more humane way of enforcing the patient's living will.

With estate planning and living wills, it may be important to work alongside an experienced lawyer to ensure the best care in any event that may arise. A lawyer involved in estate planning may be able to help a client construct a living will that may contain very little, if any, loopholes that can void the contract. A lawyer may also help to answer questions about future care processes, and decipher legal jargon. A lawyer may also provide advice on how to word a will and how to distribute assets to satisfy a patient's needs.

Source: nwi.com, "ESTATE PLANNING: Enforcing a living will", Christopher Yugo, July 27, 2013

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