Individuals in Florida who are 18 or older should consider making a living will. This is not just a document for people who are older or in ill health. An accident or serious illness can happen at any time, and with a living will, loved ones will know an individual’s wishes for their medical care even if that individual is unable to communicate them.

A living will may cover aspects of health care such as when or if a person wishes to be removed from life support at some stage as well as whether they wish to be resuscitated in various circumstances. An individual may also use a living will to appoint a health care proxy. This is the person who will be able to legally make all medical decisions for an incapacitated individual.

In addition to ensuring that one’s wishes are carried out, a living will can remove a great deal of the burden from a family dealing with the stress of a loved one’s illness or accident. With a living will, there is less guesswork involved in deciding what an individual would want if they were able to communicate, and families have less reason to wonder whether they have made the right medical decisions.

An individual may wish to work with an attorney when putting together a living will as well as during other aspects of estate planning. Other considerations for individuals who are doing end-of-life planning might also include appointing someone who can make financial decisions for an incapacitated individual while parents may wish to name guardians for any minor children. In general, wills or trusts that explicate how assets should be distributed among family members may be a good idea for adult individuals of any age as well.