I recently received the following question: Is your living will protected from creditors?

A Living Will is not the same as a Legal Will. A Legal Will disposes of personal property after death and appoints a personal representative.  A Living Will provides instructions regarding future health care and end-of life scenarios.  A Living Will has nothing to do with your property or claims from creditors.

Under Florida law, every competent adult has the right to make decisions about his or her own health, including the right to advise the doctor to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining equipment (“pulling the plug”).  The Florida Legislature has provided a suggested form to do this within Florida Statutes §765.303.  The free Living Will form is also available from the Florida Bar’s website.  You should sign a Living Will in front of two witnesses, at least one of which should not be related to you by blood or marriage.  Once you have created a Living Will, provide a copy to your treating physician or hospital.  Keep another copy in a safe place.

You may also choose a Health Care Surrogate to make all health care decisions on your behalf in the event you become unable to do so.  If you have no Living Will, but you have executed a valid Health Care Surrogate designation, the surrogate can make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.

If you need legal assistance to create these documents, please do not hesitate to contact me, a Florida Estate Planning Attorney.  I include a free Living Will and Health Care Surrogate designation with any Will or Estate Planning Package created by my office.