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Who Can Benefit from Healthcare Advance Directives in their Estate Plans?


Advance directives can be a vital part of your estate plan, but certain people can benefit more so than others. If you live in Florida and are updating or establishing your estate plans, you may have thought about including documents such as a living will or healthcare surrogate.  Any individual who wants to identify the person making medical decisions on their behalf as a result of incapacity should include advance directives as part of their plan.

However, creating advance directives is not as easy as it might sound, which is why you should consult with a Florida lawyer to find out if it is right for you, and simplify the process of drafting these essential legal documents.

How do Advance Directives help?

To determine whether you can benefit from including advance directives as part of your estate plans, you need to understand what they are. Basically, a Healthcare Surrogate Designation and a Living Will are documents that outline what medical decisions should be made on your behalf if you become incapacitated or are otherwise unable to make your own decisions.

Those documents answer some tough questions regarding your health, including:

  • Are there any medical procedures or surgeries that you do not wish to undergo?
  • Would you allow doctors to let you die naturally under specific circumstances?
  • Do you not want any organ donation or blood transfusions?
  • Would you want to be kept on life support?
  • Are there any treatments or surgeries that you would prefer?

An advance directive answers these and many other long-term planning questions and helps your family members and healthcare providers understand how to proceed with your treatment.

Are You Required to Have Advance Directives in Florida?

Some people who create an estate plan are wondering whether Florida law would require them to have advance directives. Although there are no legal requirements to have a living will or healthcare surrogate, those who do not have one will not be able to control the decision-making process if they become incapacitated.

If there are no advance directives, your medical decisions will be made for you by a court-appointed guardian, which may or may not be one of your family members.  Unless your court-appointed guardian knows you and you have informed them of your preferences, the person making healthcare decisions on your behalf may make decisions that you would not make for yourself.

Who Can Benefit from Having an Advance Directive?

People who want to be prepared for every outcome should consider including advance directives (such as a healthcare surrogate or living will) as part of their estate plans. To determine whether you can benefit from these documents, consider your personal medical history and your medical preferences.  In other words, if you are unable to make your own healthcare decisions, and you want to specifically name someone to make healthcare decisions for you, and ensure that your medical wishes are followed, then you will most likely benefit from having these documents in place.

Creating advance directives as part of your estate plans can be complicated, which is why you need help from a St. Petersburg Estate Planning lawyer to walk you through the process and create a valid, legal document for you. Contact Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, to get a consultation about your case. Call at 727-471-5868 today.


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