Establishing an estate plan provides many benefits for you and your loved ones. It ensures that your family will be provided for by your estate after your passing, and it can also guarantee that your final wishes for medical treatment and health care are honored. While most people only think of a will when they consider drafting an estate plan, advance health care directives should be included, as well. If you would like to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney in Florida about including advance health care directives in your estate plan, call or contact The Soto Law Office in Altamonte Springs today.
What are Advance Health Care Directives?
One type of advanced health care directive is known as a health care surrogate. This document dictates your wishes for all medical and health care decisions if a situation arises in which you are unable to communicate those decisions to doctors and other healthcare professionals due to an accident, illness, dementia, or other serious situation.
In addition to directing certain medical and health care procedures, a health care surrogate directive can also identify a health care surrogate who is the person nominated to have the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if something arises that is not covered in your directive. If appointed, your health care surrogate is bound to your wishes in the health care surrogate directive, but is allowed to make all other decisions about your health care.
Another type of advanced health care directive is a living will. A living will goes into effect if you fall into a persistent vegetative state, have an end-stage condition, or have a terminal condition that limits your communicative abilities. Your living will determines whether you wish to allow or refuse life sustaining care in these 3 limited situations.
Some of the most common directives in a living will or health care surrogate include use of CPR, ventilator use, artificial nutrition and hydration through feeding tubes and IVs, comfort care, pain management, and more. You can also use advanced health care directives to inform others that you wish to be an organ donor upon your passing. An advance health care directive can be altered or revoked at any time prior to a serious medical event when the document would go into effect, which allows it to evolve and change to meet your wishes throughout your life.
The Importance of Advance Health Care Directives
When many people think about creating advance health care directives, they think that it is only for the elderly. However, you should consider adding a health care surrogate and living will to your estate plan as soon as possible. No one likes to consider bad things happening, such as an accident or unexpected illness, but it can happen to anyone at any time. Including a health care surrogate and living will in your estate plan now saves your family from having to make incredibly difficult decisions on your behalf at an already difficult time. Advance health care directives also take the guessing out of your health care and medical decisions if loved ones are placed in the position to make those choices for you.
Talk to an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer Today
If you would like to learn more about including advance health care directives in your estate plan, call or contact The Soto Law Office in Altamonte Springs today.