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August 15, 2023

Estate planning involves more than just managing your financial affairs and distributing assets. It also entails making decisions about your healthcare preferences, especially in times when you may be unable to communicate them. In Florida, advance healthcare directives play a vital role in ensuring your voice is heard and your wishes are respected. 

Understanding Advance Healthcare Directives:

  • Living Will: A living will is a legal document that outlines your preferences for medical treatment and end-of-life care. It allows you to express your wishes regarding life-sustaining treatments, resuscitation, artificial nutrition, and other medical interventions if you are in an incurable or irreversible condition with no reasonable chance of recovery.
  • Health Care Surrogate Designation: A healthcare surrogate designation, also known as a healthcare power of attorney, enables you to appoint a trusted individual to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated and cannot communicate your preferences. This person acts as your advocate and ensures your healthcare wishes are honored.

The Importance of Advance Healthcare Directives:

  • Personalized Healthcare Decisions:  By having advance healthcare directives in place, you retain control over your medical treatment and end-of-life decisions. You can clearly communicate your desires for specific interventions or specify your preference for comfort care, ensuring that healthcare providers understand and respect your choices.
  • Encourage Family Harmony: Advance healthcare directives help alleviate the burden of decision-making from your loved ones during stressful times. By clearly articulating your wishes, you minimize the potential for family conflicts and relieve your loved ones of the emotional weight of making challenging healthcare choices on your behalf.
  • Avoiding Unwanted Medical Interventions: Without a living will, medical professionals may be obligated to administer life-prolonging treatments, even if they may not align with your preferences. A living will ensures that your healthcare team knows your desires, allowing them to respect your wishes.
  • Empowering Healthcare Surrogates: Designating a healthcare surrogate grants a trusted person the authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. This individual can consult with medical professionals, access your medical records, and advocate for your best interests based on the instructions you have provided. Their role is critical in ensuring your healthcare preferences are followed when you cannot make decisions yourself.
  • Complying with Florida Laws: Florida has specific laws regarding advance healthcare directives. By creating legally valid documents that adhere to state requirements, you ensure that your directives are enforceable and recognized by healthcare providers.
  • Regular Review and Updates: It is essential to review and update your advance healthcare directives periodically, particularly when significant life events occur, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or changes in your health condition or treatment preferences. Regularly reviewing and updating your documents ensures that they reflect your current wishes accurately.

Parkland Estate Planning Attorney | Broward Probate Attorney

Advance healthcare directives are a crucial component of estate planning. By proactively expressing your healthcare preferences through a living will and designating a healthcare surrogate, you empower yourself and protect your well-being in times of incapacity. Taking the time to create these documents ensures that your voice is heard, your desires are respected, and your loved ones are spared the burden of making difficult decisions on your behalf. Consult with our team to schedule a call with our experienced estate planning attorney.  Start today by calling 954-999-9683 and work towards ensuring your advance healthcare directives comply with Florida laws and accurately reflect your wishes.