Why It’s Risky to Go Without A Living Will

Hill & Kinsella

Do you know someone in your life who needs to take the time to sit down and write a living will? Whether it’s your elder mother or your beloved grandparents, countless clients come to us asking what they can do to convince the important people in their lives to take the necessary legal precautions to protect their estate and make crucial decisions regarding how their affairs should be managed if they are ever incapacitated.

Draft a Living Will Before it’s Too Late

Too many years ago and at too young an age, my mother ended up on life support with no hope of recovery. At that time, the concept of a living will was gaining momentum, but still, few people actually had them. My mother, like many people, only had a will in place. And while a will addresses financial matters, it does not cover health issues. So when her health started to decline, all of her seven children who were between the ages of twenty-one and forty were asked for our input regarding prolonged life support treatments.

The doctors taking care of her were looking for a consensus among her family. But, every child has a different relationship with their parent, and often, each child sees their parent’s suffering in a different light. And while the situation was excruciating for all, eventually my mother died.

Today, the situation would not be much different if you or a loved one do not have a living will and important decisions about healthcare treatment need to quickly be made. In Florida, there is a statute, the Health Care Proxy statute, which allows a facility to designate certain people or groups as decision-makers about your health care. That means the state chooses who will make your life and death decisions.

Unfortunately, the person or group appointed by the state may be estranged family members. They may have to work in the dark because they can’t obtain legal access to all the necessary information and documents to make decisions that align with the wishes of the person they are representing.

If it is a group, like your seven children, the majority rules. This kind of situation can be a recipe for disaster or even a heated legal battle. Hospitals and doctors do not want to bear the burden of deciding on a person’s future. If the family cannot agree, the hospital is going to find a way to get a judge to make the decision.

We Can Draft Your Living Will & Help Avoid Legal Complications

So does the thought of someone else deciding whether you live or die seem invasive and a violation of your privacy and individual rights? If you believe so, then you can avoid this entire mess by executing advance directives like a health care surrogate and living will while you are totally in control of your life.

You never know when you might face the possibility of being unable to give informed consent or make decisions about your care. Our esteemed attorneys at HKH Elder Law encourage you to speak to our legal team to make sure all of your questions and concerns are fully addressed.

We understand how important these decisions are for you and your loved ones. After all, it is your life we’re talking about. Please call us today at (727) 240-2350 to schedule your consultation so we can set you up with all the right estate planning documents.

By: Alana Horner