You Can Choose Life Support… Or Not
A living will appoints someone who will make medical life sustaining decision for you if you become incapable of doing so. These rights apply, for instance, to someone who is on life support.
Consider the unfortunate circumstances seen in the case of Terri Schiavo which could have been avoided with a living will. In Schiavo’s case, there was nothing in writing to tell her family what she wanted when heart failure rendered her in a vegetative state. Schiavo was only 26 years old when this occurred in 1990. A lengthy battle ensued in Schiavo’s home state of Florida involving its court system, legislature, and its Governor Jeb Bush. Schiavo passed away on March 31, 2005. Having something in writing stating exactly what Schiavo’s wishes were would have avoided the entire ugly process.
A living will, formerly called an advanced medical directive, specifically states whether or not someone wishes to continue with life support. The forms allow clients to choose what they prefer should many other situations arise. A living will gives a client control over unforeseen circumstances, which may arise.
Before it’s too late, contact Anna-Maria Pittella to prepare your family’s estate planning tools.