What is an Advance Directive?
An advance directive is a document that allows you to name who has the power to make decisions on your behalf in the event you are not able to make those decisions yourself. These documents speak for you when you're not able to speak for yourself, (for instance, if you're in a coma or develop Alzheimer's Disease) and can help reduce confusion or disagreement amongst your loved ones concerning your wishes. These documents aren't just for older adults. Unexpected disability or end-of-life situations can happen at any age, so it's important for all adults to have advance directives
The following are the different advance directives provided for by Florida Statutes:
- Living Will - if you are terminally ill, your Living Will states your wishes about life sustaining medical treatments. If you're faced with a serious accident or illness our Living Will spells out the types of medical treatments and life-sustaining measures you do and don't want, such as mechanical breathing (respiration and ventilation), tube feeding or resuscitation.
- Designation of Health Care Surrogate – gives someone you trust the ability to make health care decisions for you, have access to your medical records, and speak to your medical providers;
- Durable Power of Attorney – allows the person you name (your attorney-in-fact) to take care of all of your financial affairs if you are unable to do so yourself; naming an attorney-in-fact can also assist in handling the property of a person who has become incapacitated without having to open a guardianship proceeding in court. This is especially valuable for paying the bills and protecting the assets of an incapacitated person.
- Declaration Naming Pre-Need Guardian – if at any time in the future you were to need a guardian (because of mental incapacity, including dementia, Alzheimer's, or other mental disability) this document declares who you want that guardian to be.
Contact our office today. We can help you take the necessary steps to make sure you will be taken care of when trauma, tragedy, accidents, or other unfortunate life events happen.