It is impossible to know if or when you will end up in a life-threatening medical condition, but you have the option to plan for such a dreadful event. By establishing an advanced directive and living will, you can take some of the weight off of your loved ones and ensure that no one will have to guess your wishes regarding end-of-life care.
Florida Advanced Directives
Florida law recognizes your right to make advanced directives regarding your medical care in the event that you become incapacitated. You can dictate in a living will document what, if any, life-sustaining treatments or care you receive. You can also designate a healthcare surrogate to make those decisions on your behalf.
Contemplating your options for such a distressing situation can be challenging and confusing. The experienced lawyers at Sawyer & Sawyer, P.A. can help you understand what type of decisions you might face if you are incapacitated. The most common advanced directives involve an individual’s wishes regarding:
- Life support
- Organ donation
For example, a DNR (do-not-resuscitate) is an advanced directive that indicates that medical personnel should not perform CPR if the holder suffers from cardiac arrest. This is completed with the assistance of your doctor.
Advanced directives are not set in stone. We can help you modify or rewrite your documents if you want to change your instructions for end-of-life medical treatment. Also, you can always designate a different person as your healthcare surrogate or cancel the designation altogether.
An advanced directive and living will must be signed, dated, and witnessed. It is a legal document that you should keep in an easily accessible location in case of emergencies. You should also provide copies to your physician and your loved ones.
Living Wills in Orlando
It is common to leave a will to express your wishes and distribute your assets after death, but you should consider including a living will in your planning. If you know what type of treatment you would like to receive if you could not communicate, you can outline these instructions in your living will.
Life-sustaining treatment includes artificial life support such as:
- Mechanical breathing machines
- Kidney dialysis treatment
- Artificial hydration and nutrition
These treatments prolong life and are considered extraordinary care. You can indicate whether or not you would like to be put on life support. You have the opportunity to clarify, in writing, what quality of life you expect when you are in dire health. Your loved ones will not have to deliberate over your care during an already stressful time.
With our extensive experience in estate planning, the team at Sawyer & Sawyer, P.A.can help you draft your living will. We will listen to your requests with compassion and ensure that you consider all possibilities. We understand how difficult it is to think about these events, but we believe in the necessity of planning for them.
Most importantly, we want to help you have peace of mind by preserving your wishes.
Health Care Surrogate Designation
You may think that your end-of-life decisions may change depending on the situation or that it is impossible to plan for every scenario. Luckily, you can designate a trusted individual as a healthcare surrogate. You will give this person the power to make decisions on your behalf if you become unconscious or unable to express your desires regarding medical care.
A healthcare surrogate’s decision-making power only takes effect when a physician verifies that you are physically or mentally unable to make decisions for yourself.
Coupled with a living will, this designation helps cover all possible events if you find yourself with a terminal or irreversible medical condition. Your healthcare surrogate must follow the instructions outlined in your living will. If you do not directly state something in your living will, your surrogate will have the power to decide for you.
Make Advanced Directives with Your Florida Attorney
Although it is not required to make advanced directives with an attorney, we highly recommend letting us help you with such an important plan. Legal documents can be very complex, and we can answer any questions you may have.
We want to make the process as smooth as possible for you. The purpose of advanced directives is to put your mind at ease and make an unimaginable situation easier for those closest to you.
We can offer you our knowledge of advanced directives and living wills gained from helping many others with the process. Call Sawyer & Sawyer, P.A.at (407) 909-1900 for help if you need to arrange your advanced directive and living will in Orlando, FL.