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St. Petersburg Advance Directive Lawyer

Advance Directives Professionally Drafted by Experienced Tampa Bay Estate Planning Attorneys

Drafting wills and trusts to dispose of real and personal property after you are gone is only one aspect of estate planning. Just as important is planning for what should happen in the event you become incapacitated during your lifetime and cannot independently manage your healthcare, finances or legal affairs. As comprehensive St. Petersburg advance directive lawyers, Legacy Protection Lawyers make sure your estate plan contains the right set of advance directives so that you are cared for properly according to your wishes during any short-term or long-term period of incapacity.

Avoid guardianship and get the care you desire

Without advance directives, the court may have to impose a guardianship over your person or estate, or people whom you may not even know or trust will be forced to make decisions on your behalf which may not at all be what you would have wished for yourself. Even loving family members burdened with these decisions may not make the decisions you would want, or they may disagree among themselves, causing undue anxiety and strife. With advance directives, you get the opportunity to make your wishes known and select the people you would want to make decisions for you. Common advance directives in Florida estate plans include the following:

Power of Attorney – Choose a person to act as your agent or attorney-in-fact. With power of attorney, an individual can act on your behalf to manage your bank accounts and investments, keep up your mortgage payments and utility bills, make sure tax returns are prepared and filed accurately and on time, and deal with any other legal or financial matters that arise.

Designation of Health Care Surrogate – This designation is like appointing a power of attorney for health care matters. With this designation, you appoint someone you know and trust to make medical decisions on your behalf, and you also have the opportunity to give them guidance on decisions like medical procedures or medications you would or wouldn’t want, including difficult end of life decisions and even organ donation. Without a Designation of Health Care Surrogate, a family member or friend may step in as your health care proxy and make decisions you wouldn’t want, or someone may institute guardianship proceedings over you. Instead, choose the person you want to be your surrogate, and let them know how you wish to be treated.

Living Will – This document lets family members or physicians know your desires regarding life-preserving measures such as feeding and hydration, breathing tubes, risky surgeries or medical procedures, and end-of-life decisions regarding pain management or other measures. Make sure others know you have created a living will and where it can be easily accessed if needed.

DNRO – A Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNRO) is like a living will, but it deals specifically with a request not to be resuscitated in case of cardiac arrest or pulmonary arrest. A DNRO is a physician’s order signed by a physician. It can be completed by you, your health care surrogate or health care proxy.

Get the Right Set of Advance Directives for You

Talk to an attorney who will take the time to understand your wishes, advise you on your options, and carefully draft the right documents to give effect to your wishes. You may never need advance directives, but knowing you have taken the right steps in case they ever are can be invaluable. In the Tampa Bay area, call Legacy Protection Lawyers in St. Petersburg at 721-471-5868 to schedule an appointment with our hardworking and compassionate Florida estate planning attorneys.

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