ADVANCE HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVES
If you are in a coma, in surgery or otherwise unable to tell medical staff whether you agree to or want to reject their care, who will make these decisions for you? Having Advance Health Care Directives in place ensure the right person is making these decisions on your behalf and help tell the Doctors and Nurses what care you want when you are unable to.
Overview of Advance Health Care Directives
Advance Health Care Directives are important estate planning documents. They specify what type of health and medical care treatment you wish to choose or refuse in the event of an emergency medical crisis.
Types of Advance Health Care Directives
There are three types of Advance Health Care Directives everyone should have:
1. A Living Will, which is a legal document that provides your family and healthcare team with details regarding your wishes to choose or refuse medical treatment when you reach a:
end-stage condition or
persistent vegetative state
2. A Healthcare Surrogate Designation Form is a written document where you appoint a representative of your choice whom you trust and authorize to oversee your wishes and make decisions regarding your medical care and treatment when you are unable to communicate.
3. A designation of Preneed Guardianship is a document identifying the name of a person you selected to be appointed as your guardian in the event of an unexpected mental or physical incapacity. With this document, your appointed guardian may handle your medical and financial affairs when you're unable to do so on your own.
4. A HIPPA Release is a document allowing a person of your choice to have access to, and obtain copies of, your medical records. That person may also speak with doctors and nurses about the care you received.
What Happens if No Advance Health Care Directives Exist
If there are no Advance Health Care Directives available at the time of an emergency medical crisis, then the decisions about your medical care may be made for you by the following parties in the order noted below:
1. your spouse (even if you’re separated),
2. your adult child,
3. your parent,
4. your adult sibling,
5. an adult relative,
6. a close friend, or
7. court-appointed guardian.
Estate Planning Attorney Kimberly Soto drafts Advance Health Care Directives, which include a Living Will, Healthcare Surrogate, a designation of Preneed Guardian, and HIPPA Release. If you have questions or need more details about Advance Health Care Directives, call Attorney Kimberly Soto at 321.972.2279.
The Soto Law Office, P.A. is conveniently located in Altamonte Springs, FL near I-4 and proudly serves all residents in Altamonte Springs, Apopka, Casselberry, Longwood, Ocoee, Orlando, Orange County, Osceola County, Lake County, Seminole County, Volusia County, and throughout Central Florida.