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How to Create an Advance Directives in Florida

EstPlan8

Do you have an advance directive in place? According to a Reuters report of nearly 800,000 Americans, over 37% of Americans have no advance directives for their end-of-life care if they become incapacitated or seriously ill. There are many reasons why having an advance directive in place should you become incapacitated. Advance directives are a relatively easy way for someone to let their family know what they would like to happen if they become incapacitated.

What Is An Advance Directive?

The two most common kinds of advance directives are the living will and the durable power of attorney.  Some durable powers of attorney include health care provisions.  However, often individuals will sign a separate document for their health care needs called a designation of health care surrogate.

The Living Will

A living will controls particular health care decisions when someone becomes incapable of making decisions on their own. Before healthcare professionals can abide by the terms of the living will, the patient must be incapacitated.  If someone has a chance of regaining their capacity, a living will typically does not come into play.

The contents of a living will set forth the type of medical treatment the person does or does not want in certain situations. Living wills often state the conditions that the person would like to receive an attempt to prolong life. A living will might specifically direct medical professionals to use or not use artificial life support such as breathing machines, tube feedings or dialysis.

The living will is a legal document signed by the patient. Some states offer a model living will form. Some states provide the model living will as an option while others require that the patient use their particular model will. Florida does not require a specific living will form. Living wills in Florida can be written or oral statements about the type of medical care that you do or don’t want if you become incapacitated.

Florida Health Care Surrogate Designation

A Florida health care surrogate designation is a document that names another person as your representative or health care surrogate. The appointed person will be able to make decisions for you if you are incapable of making them yourself. In addition to naming the person you wish to be your surrogate and an alternative surrogate in case your first choice is not able or willing to fulfill their duties, you can also include instructions about what treatment you want or don’t want.

Can I Prepare My Own Living Will or Health Care Proxy Document?

You can write your own advance directives, but keep in mind that oral or written advance directives in Florida must be witnessed by two individuals and at least one of the individuals cannot be a spouse or blood relative.

Reach Out to an Attorney for Help

Hiring an attorney to help you prepare your advance directive could be advantageous particularly when you work with the experienced St. Petersburg advance directive attorneys at Legacy Protection Lawyers. Contact us to set up your appointment today.

Resources:

floridahealthfinder.gov/reports-guides/advance-directives.aspx

reuters.com/article/us-health-usa-advance-directives/over-one-third-of-u-s-adults-have-advanced-medical-directives-idUSKBN19W2NO

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