As a probate law firm in Florida, we speak to many clients who have just lost a loved one and were at a loss to know what their dying relative had wanted from them towards the end of their life. That’s why we developed My Last Emotional Wishes. This free document allows everyone—whether currently diagnosed with a life-limiting disease or just wanting to plan for the future—to record their end-of-life emotional desires, taking the guesswork away from struggling family and friends.
The form, created in consultation with hospice professionals and other experts, allows you to write out such wishes as how you’d want to live if your time was limited; whether you’d want people to talk about your illness with you or mostly have their regular conversations; the people, items, music and/or prayers you’d want to be surrounded by in your final days; whether you’d want to be free of all pain near the end or wanting to tolerate discomfort if that means you can remain conscious; what you most want to be remembered for; where you’d ideally like to be when you pass on; the mood you’d prefer at your funeral/memorial service; and more.
My Last Emotional Wishes is offered free by the Law Office of Gary Landau, a probate and real-estate law firm located in South Florida. The four-page PDF form is easily downloadable from the firm’s website, GaryLandau.com (Scroll to the bottom of the page). After you fill out the form, let a loved one know you’ve created it, then store it alongside other important papers in your home (not in a bank vault, which can be hard for others to access in a crisis). Because this is not a legal form, but rather a reflection of your desires, there’s no need to have your signature witnessed or notarized.
“We created this form to help people provide emotional direction to their loved ones in the last stages of life,” says Gary Landau, the firm’s principal and an experienced probate attorney, who has watched struggling families wish they’d better known how to help their dying relative emotionally, and hopes to help others avoid this situation.
Because this form only deals with emotional issues, Landau cautions, it does not replace other legal documents everyone should have. This includes a Last Will and Testament, a Living Will (also called an Advanced Directive), and a Healthcare Proxy. (In some cases, a Financial Proxy is also desirable.)
If you know someone who might benefit from My Last Emotional Wishes, feel free to share this information.