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Florida Living Will

Florida Living Will

 
A Short Introduction to Florida Living Wills
 
 
There are many reasons to draft or have drafted for you a Florida living will. They allow you to dictate what medical treatment you’d like when dictation becomes impossible. For instance, when you are in the final stages of a terminal disease, or you are afflicted with a permanent coma, they are the ideal route for you to end your life with dignity and comfort, all while avoiding any legal battles between your loved ones who differ on whether they’d like you to continue to receive medical treatment. 
 
 
Florida living wills are also sometimes called advance directives, though in truth living wills are just a division of what advance health care directives can be. Since Florida living wills can achieve numerous things, it is important to know all about their different abilities, especially since the stakes regarding completing them correctly are so high.
 
 
Naming Your Health Care Surrogate
 
 
Some advance directives are called “Power of Attorney” and include only this section, though it is also common to roll the “Power of Attorney” into a Florida living will. A health care surrogate is in charge of your medical decisions when you are no longer capable of decision making. Most often, health care surrogates are a person’s family members or loved ones, and they are not allowed to be their doctors or health care providers.
 
 
Of course, since the entire point of a Florida living will is to list your medical decisions, your health care surrogate should hopefully have to make few decisions on their own. You should choose an alternate health care surrogate, in case your primary one is not in a situation where they can help you.
 
 
Health Care Plan
 
 
The most important part of the living will is the section which stipulates whether you’d like your life artificially prolonged when the immediate costs seem to outweigh the gains. Of course, many persons believe in the possibility of miracles, and they can lose their Florida living will to prolong their lives as long as possible in the hopes of reaching a stage of recovery, while others may want to end their lives naturally when it comes clear that their time is at an end. You should stipulate under what conditions your Florida living will should take effect. If you are in a coma? If you have a terminal illness? Remember that it is perfectly acceptable to have down differing answers for different conditions.
 
 
Making a Binding Florida Living Will
 
 
Try to sign your Florida living will in the presence of two others who can be your legal witnesses. Neither of them should be your health care surrogate, if in fact you named one, and at least one of them shouldn’t be your legal relative. That is because at least one witness is not supposed to stand to benefit in any way from your death.
 
 
Additional Information If you’d like to know more about Florida living wills, you should read one for yourself. The Attorney General’s Office in Florida has put up one sample living will for educational purposes or to fill out and sign, as you see fit.
 
 

Living Will Form Georgia

Living Will Form Georgia

 

A Short Summary of Living Will Forms Georgia

In 2007, the state changed living will forms Georgia. Now, instead of having separate documents, one for living wills and one for the durable power of attorney, these two documents have been combined into one, called an Advanced Directive. The law has a grandfather clause to keep older living will forms Georgia binding, but you should also remember that an advanced directive can do all the same good for you that a living will form Georgia can, and even more. Rather than worry about the additional complications provided by the new law, you should enjoy the privileges afforded by new living will forms Georgia and learn more about what they can do for you.

Part 1 of the Living Will Form Georgia

The first thing that a living will form Georgia will ask you to do is name your health care agent. This person will make all of your important health care decisions if you become unable to because of your illness. Since most of your decisions should already be dictated by the living will form Georgia, the health care agent’s job is essentially to enforce the living will. Most health care agents are family members or loved ones; they cannot be your health care provider. 

Remember that naming someone your health care agent gives them access to all of your medical files whenever the living will form Georgia becomes active. You may put some restrictions on your health care agents abilities, as you see fit. You will also be able to name two alternative health care agents if your primary one becomes unavailable.

Part 2 of the Living Will Form Georgia

The second part of the living will form Georgia stipulates those terms of treatment which we normally consider to be the blunt of the duties of a living will form Georgia. First, you will list those conditions under which your living will form Georgia takes effect, principally if you want it to take effect if you have a terminal condition where medical treatment will only buy you a short amount of time, or if you are in a state of permanent unconsciousness. 

After this you will list your treatment preferences. Various conditions will be named and you will state whether you A) want your life extended as long as possible, B) want to die a natural death, or C) have special stipulations which limit but do not entirely restrict the medical treatment you want to receive.  

If you are with child, the living will form Georgia will normally become invalid. The only exception to this is if the fetus is not viable, in which case you still need to show a special request in the living will form Georgia that you want your living will to be carried out.

Part 3 of the Living Will Form Georgia

This is an optional section in which you can dictate who you’d like to have guardianship of you in case the court decides this necessary.

Printing and Signing Your Living Will Form Georgia

Your living will form Georgia must be signed by two witnesses, neither of whom are your health care agent and at least one of whom will not stand to benefit from your estate. The state of Georgia provides sample copies of living wills. Print one here.

Living Will Maryland

Living Will Maryland

Guide to Maryland living wills
 
 
Living wills are documents which specify the wishes of someone who is incapable of expressing themselves because of unconsciousness or terminal illness. Maryland’s laws allow anyone who wishes to create a living will to draft their own. While the attorney general’s office provides a suggested form that people can easily complete with the help of a lawyer, it can be modified in whole or in part. 
 
 
The sample form suggests that those creating a living will by writing about their goals and values behind their decisions regarding end-of-life care. You are then presented with the same three options for three different kinds of scenarios in which you may not be able to express your medical wishes:
 
 
• Two physicians agree that you are going to die shortly and no treatment can be expected to result in a cure
 
 
• You have entered a coma, known as a “permanent vegetative state,” and are not expected to recover consciousness
 
 
• An end-stage condition in which a condition reduces patients to a state of complete medical dependency, such as Alzheimer’s disease
 
 
For each of these conditions, you may choose one of three options:
 
 
• Request that all life-sustaining measures such as artificial respiration be discontinued, along with any intravenous nutrition
 
 
• Request that life-sustaining measures be discontinued except for intravenous nutrition
 
 
• Request that all life-sustaining measures be continued as long as possible
 
 
Women may complete an optional section below specifying what to do in a medical emergency if they are pregnant. Some may choose to request that they be kept alive if the fetus is still viable, though this is not required by Maryland law. Below this is a section known as the “effect of stated preferences.” This effectively allows any health care surrogate you appoint to make decisions on your behalf contradicting the stated preferences of a living will if they feel these are in your best medical interest, or instructs that your preferences should be followed no matter what.
 
 
Two witnesses must be present when you sign the document to attest that you are in sound mental health and were not forced to sign the will against your will. At least one of these witnesses must not be someone who would financially benefit from the death of the living will’s creator, as a heir or otherwise.
 
 
Additional optional sections can be completed or added on to specify whether you wish any or all organs to be donated for medical transplants, use in medical schools or other purposes. You may also specifically list which organs can be taken. 
 
 
A lawyer is not necessary to complete a living will, though some people may wish to consult an attorney if they are extensively writing customized instructions. After completion, a living will can be revoked or replaced at any time. To make sure the living will can be easily found, you should give a copy to your physician or a relative, or carry a copy on your person at all times. 
 
 

Living Will Michigan

Living Will Michigan

Guide to Michigan living wills
 
While most states recognize living wills as legally binding instructions on how to treat terminally ill or injured people who can no longer make their wishes known due to unconsciousness or loss of communication skills, Michigan does not. Though you may write a living will specifying what you wish to be done if you are terminally ill, in a permanent coma or otherwise expected to die soon and unable to respond to doctors, you may appoint someone to act as your health care proxy. This person will be legally appointed to make all medical decisions on your behalf if you are unresponsive. An informal living will can help guide what is to be done, though it is not legally enforceable.
 
 
Because there is no legislation concerning living wills, you are free to create the document in any way you feel necessary. You should specify in as much detail your wishes regarding:
 
 
• Whether life-sustaining procedures such as artificial respiration should be continued if there is no hope of recovery, and if so for how long
 
 
• Whether you should keep receiving intravenous food and liquid if there is no hope of recovery
 
 
• Whether you wish to have your life prolonged as long as possible
 
 
You may choose to specify which treatments you would find acceptable and which would be too burdensome for you to undergo. If you feel it would be helpful, include statements about religious beliefs, the minimum quality life you consider necessary for life-sustaining treatments to continue, and any other factors that have been taken into consideration when making your decisions.
 
 
In addition to specifying your wishes regarding treatment, you may want to outline whether you wish to donate your body to a medical school, and which of your organs, if any, may be donated. Along with listing these kinds of “anatomical gifts,” you may describe any funeral procedures you wish to be taken. Keep in mind that any health care proxy you appoint is not required to abide by your living will. You should only appoint someone that you are sure will follow your wishes exactly. It is recommended that you appoint at least two people who can act as your health proxy, in case one person is not available to act on your behalf.
 
 
Since there are no guidelines to follow for this non-binding document, the best thing to do is follow the procedures of other states by getting the signatures of two witnesses who are not relatives or involved in administering your health care. If you have a physician, they should possess a copy of the document. You may wish to have a copy of your living will on your person at all times to ensure that you have the best possible chance of having your wishes respected.
 
 
If you do not wish to be resuscitated after your heart and breathing start, you may obtain a “Do Not Resuscitate” form. This document must be signed by your physician, unless you have a religious objection to resuscitation. 
 
 

Living Will Minnesota

Living Will Minnesota

Guide to Minnesota living wills
 
 
A living will is a document which takes effect when a person is terminally ill, in a coma or otherwise close to death and unable to communicate their wishes. While a living will can be written from scratch,  any such documents drawn up in Minnesota must closely follow a set text drafted by the state legislature. In this living will, you specify the steps to be taken, whether as directed by a proxy of your choice or by following your written instructions.
 
 
After an opening paragraph confirming that you are of sound mental health and making this document of your own free will, you must specify whether you want life-sustaining devices such as artificial respiration to be used if you are dying. Life-sustaining devices extend your life without providing the hope of a relapse. People who do not wish to prolong the dying process may specify which treatments they do or do not want to be used, and how long they should be used before being discontinued. You may also choose to state you want all life-sustaining procedures to be used for as long as possible.
 
 
In addition to life-sustaining, you may choose to reject intravenous nutrition or hydration. The document will specify that you understand this will lead to your death via malnutrition or dehydration. You are also encouraged to write as much as necessary about the ideas guiding your thinking, such as any religious beliefs or what you consider the minimum quality-of-life standard necessary to justify life-sustaining processes.
 
 
You are given the option of enforcing a proxy to either follow the instructions of your living will, or appoint someone with the discretion to make decisions on your behalf without written instruction. Women who are pregnant should be aware that their instructions will not be followed if there is a chance their fetus can be brought to birth. In such cases, life support will continue as long as the fetus remains viable. 
 
 
Below this, you may specify any organ donations you wish to make, if any. If you wish to expand the living will to include instructions for your funeral or other proceedings, you are free to do so. The more you customize the living will, the more advisable it is to get an attorney to review your document and make sure it is legally correct. 
 
 
The living will does not become legally binding until it is signed in the presence of two adult witnesses (neither of whom can be a potential heir or appointed health care proxy), or by a notary public. It can be revoked at any time, in writing or orally. It is the patient’s responsibility to make sure the living will is easily accessible by giving copies to family members or a physician. All copies are as legally binding as the original: if a physician refuses to comply with any of its instructions, he or she must arrange for the patient to be transferred to another doctor who will execute them. Some people may wish to carry a copy of their living will at all times in case of emergency. 
 
 

Living Will North Carolina

Living Will North Carolina

Guide to North Carolina living wills

 
When someone is terminally ill, permanently unconscious or otherwise unable to express their wishes, a living will comes into effect. This document specifies what kind of treatments should be undertaken or withheld. Physicians are required to abide by its instructions. While there is no official form that must be taken, the North Carolina Secretary of State’s office has made a template available that can be used as the basis for a living will.
 
 
After affirming that you are of sound mind, you may indicate your preferences in the case of:
 
 
• An incurable or irreversible condition that will soon lead to death with no possibility of recovery
 
 
• A lapse into a coma with no reasonable expectation of a return to consciousness
 
 
• Advanced dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, leading to a large loss in cognitive ability
 
 
You will indicate your preference for whoever your health care provider may be to either:
 
 
• Continue artificially life-sustaining procedures such as artificial respiration for indefinite periods of time
 
 
• Discontinue artificially life-sustaining procedures if there is no reasonable hope of recovery
 
 
To avoid ambiguity, you may wish to detail:
 
 
• Which procedures you would be willing to have performed
 
 
• Any procedures you would find too burdensome or expensive to justify
 
 
• Fixed durations for any procedures to be continued
 
 
Additionally, you should specify whether you wish to have intravenous food and liquid nutrition continued indefinitely or withdrawn at a certain date. If you have appointed an agent to made decisions on your behalf, you can specify that they either have final authority or must follow your written instructions.
 
 
To become legally binding, this document must be signed in the presence of two witnesses, who must not be:
 
 
• Related to the patient, either by blood or marriage
 
 
• A potential heir or claimant to any assets
 
 
• an attending physician
 
 
• in any way involved with the medical care of the patient
 
 
Patients are encouraged to add as much information as they think may be relevant to any decisions made. You may wish to specify:
 
 
• Religious beliefs that have guided your decisions
 
 
• Whether you wish for any of your organs to be made available for donation
 
 
• Any funeral procedures you wish to be followed
 
 
A will may be revoked in any time, either in writing or orally. It is the patient’s responsibility to make sure his or her wishes are carried out by making sure copies of the living will are easily accessible. A copy should be given to a physician or family member. 
 
 
Health care providers are obligated to follow the instructions of the living will, even if they go against the wishes of family members. Assuming they are acting in good faith, they are not in violation of the law. A physician unwilling to carry out the instructions of the living will must arrange for the patient be transferred to another doctor or facility’s care.
 
 

Living Will Kentucky

Living Will Kentucky

Guide to Kentucky living wills
 
 
Anyone 18 or older is allowed to create a living will in the state of Kentucky. This document creates instructions to be followed if you are terminally ill or injured or in a state of permanent unconsciousness and are unable to express your wishes. The state provides a living will form that can be modified at your discretion, though the basic format will stay the same.
 
 
The first part of this document allows you to appoint a Health Care Surrogate, meaning someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf should you be unable to. This section is optional. If you choose to fill out both parts, your surrogate is required to follow your wishes as expressed in the living will. 
 
 
In the first part of the living will, you should choose: 
 
 
• Whether you do or do not want to be kept alive without the hope of recovery through the use of artificial respiration and other “life-support” methods
 
 
• Whether you do or do not want to be kept alive without the hope of recovery through intravenous food and liquids
 
 
Some may choose to ignore this section, instead completing the section just below authorizing their surrogate with all decisions about life support and intravenous nutrition.
 
 
Some people may not find this document’s standardized form detailed enough. You may customize the form to specify:
 
 
• What treatments you would consider too burdensome to justify
 
 
• Your expectations for a reasonable quality of life
 
 
• Any religious preferences or rites you want observed in connection with the end of your life
 
 
• Specify in detail exactly which procedures are acceptable, and for how long
 
 
You may wish to ask an attorney to assist you if you decide to write your own living will. It is advisable to consult with a doctor about any medical specifics you do not understand. You are not required to fill out all parts of the living will.
 
 
 
Below this, you may authorize the donation of any or all of your applicable organs. The form must have the signature of a notary public or two witnesses, neither of whom can be:
 
 
• A blood relative
 
 
• A heir
 
 
• An employee of any health care facility charged with taking care of the person creating the living will
 
 
• Any doctor involved in treatment of the patient
 
 
• Anyone financially responsible for the health care of the person creating the document
 
 
A living will can be revoked or replaced at any time by a person in sound mental health. If you choose to do so, destroy all previous living wills to avoid future confusion. It is the responsibility of the patient to make sure their physician is informed of the living will’s existence. If you are admitted to a hospital, they should be presented with a copy of the living will when you check in to ensure that your instructions are followed. Some people may wish to carry a living will on their person at all times in case of emergency.
 
 

Ohio Living Will

Ohio Living Will

Guide to Ohio living wills
 
 
A living will guides physicians in treating a person who is terminally ill, in a coma or otherwise near death and unable to make their wishes known. For this document to take effect, two physicians must agree that the person is past the point of recovery and is expected to die soon. Patients can specify:
 
 
• Whether they wish for procedures such as CPR or artificial respiration to be undertaken if nothing else is keeping the patient alive
 
 
• Whether they wish for intravenous food and liquid to be administered indefinitely or suspended at a certain point
 
 
Because Ohio’s laws on living wills are more restrictive than most states’, many people may find it advisable to appoint another person to act their health care proxy. This person is given the power of attorney to make decisions about care once reasonable efforts have been made to communicate with an unresponsive patient. Appointing someone who can execute your wishes as expressed, whether orally in writing, can help ensure the dying process is not artificially extended for patients who have indicated their desire to avoid doing so.
 
 
Two witnesses must be present when the patient signs to certify that they are of sound mental health and were not forced into signing the document against their ill. These two people may not be:
 
 
• Relatives, either by blood or marriage
 
 
• A health care proxy you have appointed
 
 
• Any physician involved in caring for you
 
 
• If you live in a nursing home, an administrator cannot be a witness
 
 
The living will is a customizable document. Patients may find it advisable to go into detail about:
 
 
• Their religious beliefs
 
 
• Specific treatments that are acceptable or unacceptable, and how long any of them may be administered for
 
 
• The minimum quality of life the patient feels is necessary to continue the use of life-sustaining devices
 
 
Every copy of the living will is a legally binding document. Though there is no standard template provided by the Ohio government that must be followed, many sample living wills can be found online. The form can easily be completed without the help of an attorney, though you may wish to get legal advice if your requests are particularly detailed or potentially not legal to honor.
 
 
The patient should make sure that a copy of his or her living will is within easy access in case of an emergency. Your physician should receive a copy. You may also wish to give copies to family members or keep a copy in your glove apartment. If you are admitted to a hospital, make sure a copy of the living will is entered into your patient information when you arrive.
 
 
Physicians must honor the instructions within a living will assuming that doing so is not in violation of the law. To achieve this end, it is helpful to be as specific as possible and have someone ready to act as your proxy who will obey the instructions of your living will as scrupulously as possible.
 
 

Texas Living Will

Texas Living Will

Guide to Texas Living Wills
 
 
Living wills are documents which provide instructions for physicians when a patient with a terminal illness whose condition is irreversible can no longer express a medical preference or has lapsed into a coma. In Texas, this kind of document is known as a “directive to the physician” and takes effect when it is determined that you have less than six months left to live. Any wishes you have will not be taken into effect if you are a woman pregnant with a viable fetus.
 
 
Anyone 18 or older is allowed to complete this form. There is no set template provided by the government, but many example forms can be found online. The more specific the information provided, the easier it will be for your wishes to be executed without being liable to challenges from family members. 
 
 
In this document, a patient specifies:
 
 
• Whether they wish for life-sustaining treatment such as dialysis and artificial respiration to be sustained indefinitely or suspended if there are less than six months left to live
 
 
• Whether food and liquid given intravenously should be suspended or continued
 
 
• Specify which treatments you find acceptable and which would be too burdensome
 
 
• Request pain medication, even if it will accelerate the dying process
 
 
Be as specific as possible. You may wish to include additional information, such as:
 
 
• Any religious beliefs you have that should be taken into consideration
 
 
• The minimum quality of life you consider necessary for life-sustaining procedures to continue being applied
 
 
• Funeral instructions
 
 
Patients who do not wish to be revived after a heart attack or other cardiac condition causing death can fill out a “do not resuscitate” form after consulting with a doctor.
 
 
In addition to the “directive to the physician,” patients may wish to complete a form giving another person “medical power of attorney.” This means that if you are incapable of expressing your wishes, this person will act on your behalf. If you want to make sure that the terms of your living are executed exactly as written, it is important to discuss this with anyone you give the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf.
 
 
To make it as easy as possible to have your wishes executed, a copy of your living will should be given to your physician if applicable. Texas drivers’ licenses have a space where you may write the phone number of anyone who has a copy of your living will. If you are admitted into a hospital, make sure to submit a copy of your living will along with all admittance materials.
 
 
Physicians are legally protected from any lawsuits if they follow a living will’s instructions and are careful in ascertaining that there is no hope to recoverying. As long as they act prudently, family members cannot force them to disregard the instructions of the living will. If a facility proves unable to follow instructions, they must arrange for the transfer of the patient into the custody of another hospital or doctor. 
 
 

Living Will Virginia

Living Will Virginia

Guide to Virginia Living Will
 
 
Living wills are used when a person has fallen terminally ill and is unable to communicate their wishes. Virginia’s government provides a detailed form that can be used as the backbone of a legally binding document, to which as much additional information as the patient sees fit can be added.
 
 
The first part of this “advance directive” form allows you to appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapable of doing so. Having this kind of proxy does not mean your wishes in the living will be disregarded if your agent disagrees with them. You can specify that a proxy either may override or must abide by your written guidelines.
 
 
The form then asks you to provide statements about situations in which you would want life-sustaining treatments such as dialysis, artificial respiration and intravenous foods and liquids to be discontinued. You can indicate that any or all of these should cease if:
 
 
• You are permanently unconscious and are not expected to regain consciousness
 
 
• Serious brain damage or a disease such as Alzheimer’s leaves a patient unable to recognize friends and family
 
 
• You cannot breathe without the help of artificial respiration and will be unable to leave a bed for the rest of your life
 
 
• You are terminally ill and bound to die soon with or without treatment
 
 
You can indicate that you wish for any or all treatments to be continued indefinitely or discontinued under any of these circumstances, or that you are not sure how you feel about each circumstance. The more detail you provide in your answers, the easier it will be to execute your wishes without being subject to a challenge from relatives. To this end, you are encouraged to write as much as you feel is necessary regarding:
 
 
• Religious beliefs explaining your decision to request or reject certain treatments
 
 
• Funeral plans
 
 
• What you consider to be an acceptable standard of life
 
 
• What treatments you would not consent to in any case
 
 
The living will becomes a legally binding document when it is signed in the presence of two witnesses, who must provide their name and address. Neither witness can be a beneficiary of the patient’s will or appointed as their health care agent. The signature of a notary public is an acceptable legal substitute.
 
 
A lawyer’s help is not necessary to complete a living will unless you are worried that your wording is unclear. The terms of the living will can be amended or revoked at either time, either through the creation of another document or orally.
 
 
It is up to the patient to make sure that this living will can be easily located in case of an accident. A copy should be presented to your physician or a close friend or family member. Additionally, keeping a copy on your person or in your glove compartment can be useful in case of an emergency. 
 
 

Living Will Pennsylvania

Georgia Probate Forms

Ohio Probate Forms

Michigan Probate Forms

Texas Probate Forms