J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC

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Living will basics for estate planners

A living will or advance healthcare directive can be important to have for a number of reasons. An advance healthcare directive is an essential component of an overall effective estate plan. An advance healthcare directive, or living will, allows the estate planner to ensure their wishes for their medical treatment and care will be honored even if they become incapacitated.

A living will must be executed in Florida by an estate planner that is of sound mind. A living will can instruct a treating physician to either provide, withhold or withdraw medical procedures that prolong the estate planner's life. A health care surrogate can also be designated to make medical decisions for the estate planner if they become incapacitated and are unable to make those decisions for themselves.

In addition to an advance healthcare directive, or living will, the estate planner should also have a durable power of attorney. A durable power of attorney can designate a party to make important decisions, including decisions on financial matters, for the estate planner should they become incapacitated and unable to so form themselves. One of the best ways to plan for, and address, the period of the estate planner's life should they be incapacitated is through an advance healthcare directive and durable power of attorney.

A living will and durable power of attorney are essential documents that are part of an overall effective estate plan. It is important for any estate planner to understand the estate planning tools available to them and what is the best option for them when estate planning.

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