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Survey: 64 percent of baby boomers without end-of-life documents

As Florida residents likely know, our state has a sizeable population of retirees. However, even those who aren't yet of retirement age would do well to begin thinking about end-of-life issues. Yes, it may not be the easiest of subjects, but most people who have experience with estate planning issues will say that it is never too early to start drafting such documents. A new study has revealed some information that baby boomers in Florida may want to be thinking about.

A recent survey shows that 64 percent of baby boomers don't have a living will or other important end-of-life documents. In the unfortunate case in which an individual becomes unable to communicate his or her wishes, documents such as a living will can ensure those wishes are precisely upheld. For better or worse, there is no denying that life can be unpredictable, and without well-drafted end-of-life documents, medical professionals or unprepared family members too often have to make decisions that might have best been left to estate owners.

Additionally, a document called a healthcare proxy can function in the same manner as a living will, allowing an individual to select someone he or she trusts to make specific decisions related to medical care, should incapacitation become an issue. Though baby boomers are still, by and large, a healthy group of people, incapacitation cases do appear in court every day, often resulting in conflicts among family members.

With these issues in mind, Floridians may do well to consider drafting a living will or a healthcare proxy, as life circumstances can unfortunately change for the worse in the blink of an eye. Living wills can be created now, just as they can be changed or modified as life goes on.

Source: dailyherald.com, "Most boomers don't have living wills," Nov. 20, 2011

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