None of us knows what the future holds. That’s why it’s important to have a plan in place, especially when it comes to end-of-life care.

An advance directive is a legal document that outlines your wishes for who can make financial and medical treatment decisions if you cannot decide for yourself. An Oviedo advance directives lawyer can help you create these documents to ensure your wishes are followed.

Book a call today to learn more about advance directives and how our team can help you.

What Are Advance Directives?

Advance directives are legal documents that outline your wishes for who can make financial and medical decisions if you can’t make them for yourself. These documents are designed to ensure that the individuals that you want to have authority over your financial and medical decisions have that authority and that your wishes are followed and you receive the medical treatment you desire, even if you can’t communicate those wishes at the time.

Advance directives can include durable powers of attorney, healthcare surrogates, and living wills. These documents can help give you peace of mind and help your family members make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.

It’s important to consult with an attorney or other qualified professional to ensure that your advance directives are legally binding and meet Florida’s requirements.

Types of Advance Directives

If you’re thinking about creating advance directives, it’s important to understand the different types that are available. Each type of advance directive serves a different purpose, and choosing the right ones for you can ensure that your wishes are respected, and your healthcare needs are met.

The most common types of advance directives are durable powers of attorney, healthcare surrogates, and living wills.

Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a legal document delegating authority from one person to another. In the document, the maker of the Power of Attorney (the “principal”) grants the right to act on the maker’s behalf to an agent. What authority is granted depends on the specific language of the Power of Attorney. A person giving a Power of Attorney may make it very broad or may limit it to certain specific acts.

A Power of Attorney is an important and powerful legal document as it is the authority for someone to act in someone else’s legal capacity. It should be drawn by a lawyer to meet the person’s specific circumstances. Preprinted forms may fail to provide the protection desired.

What is a “Durable Power of Attorney?”

A Power of Attorney terminates if the principal becomes incapacitated, unless it is a special kind of Power of Attorney known as a “Durable Power of Attorney.” A Durable Power of Attorney remains effective even if a person becomes incapacitated. However, there are certain exceptions specified in Florida law when a Durable Power of Attorney may not be used for an incapacitated principal. A Durable Power of Attorney must contain special wording that provides the power survives the incapacity of the principal. Most Powers of Attorney granted today are durable.

Healthcare Surrogate

A Healthcare Surrogate Designation is a document in which the principal designates someone else to make healthcare decisions if the principal is unable to make those decisions. Many medical providers prefer a designation of healthcare surrogate for healthcare decisions because the document is limited to healthcare. However, a Durable Power of Attorney specifically for healthcare may enable the agent to assist the principal in healthcare decisions even though the principal may not completely lack capacity.

Having a healthcare surrogate in place can be incredibly important, especially if you have specific medical preferences or are concerned about being unable to communicate your wishes. It ensures that someone you trust is making decisions on your behalf and can help alleviate any disagreements or confusion that may arise between your loved ones during a medical crisis.

When selecting a healthcare surrogate, choosing someone who understands your values and preferences and who you trust to make decisions on your behalf is important. It’s also a good idea to discuss your wishes with your healthcare proxy in advance, so they can understand your preferences and make informed decisions on your behalf.

Living Wills

A living will specify a person’s wishes as to the provision or termination of medical procedures when the person is diagnosed with a terminal condition, has an end-stage condition, or is in a persistent vegetative state.

A living will and a healthcare surrogate designation is termed “healthcare advance directives” because they are made in advance of incapacity and need. If a person is unable to understand or unable to communicate with a doctor, a living will is a legally enforceable method of making sure the person’s wishes are honored.

It’s called a “living” will because it takes effect while you’re still alive. Having a living will in place is incredibly helpful for you and your family members. It provides guidance and clarity on your wishes, which can help alleviate any uncertainty that may arise during a medical crisis. Plus, it ensures that your medical treatment aligns with your personal values and beliefs.

Why Hire an Advance Directives Lawyer

Creating an advance directive is an important step in protecting your wishes and ensuring that the individuals that you want to designate are in control and that you receive the medical care you want.

While it’s possible to create these documents on your own, working with an experienced attorney can offer several benefits, including:

  • Legal expertise — An advance directives lawyer can ensure that your documents are legally binding
  • Clarity and accuracy — An attorney can help you ensure your documents are clear, accurate, and unambiguous
  • Tailored advice — Every person’s situation is unique, and an advance directives lawyer can provide tailored advice based on your specific needs and preferences
  • Peace of mind: Knowing that your documents are legally sound and reflect your wishes can help alleviate any stress or anxiety you may be feeling.

Overall, working with an advance directive lawyer can be a wise investment in your future health and well-being.

Feel Empowered — Decide on Medical Treatment Today

Are you ready to take control of your healthcare and protect your wishes?

If so, don’t wait—take action today to create advance directives that reflect your values and preferences.

Here’s how:

  • Schedule a consultation with an advance directives lawyer to get expert advice and guidance on creating your documents
  • Gather any relevant medical information or records that may be helpful in creating your documents
  • Consider discussing your wishes with your loved ones and designating a healthcare proxy to decide on your behalf if needed

Remember, creating advance directives can offer peace of mind and ensure that you receive the care you want in the future. So don’t put it off—call Vollrath Law now.

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With our strategy in place, we’ll work with you to bring your legal matter to a successful resolution. No matter what legal challenge your family is facing, we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

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Our final step is to help you achieve success and move forward with confidence. Whether it’s a finalized estate plan that provides peace of mind, or a successful divorce settlement that protects your interests, we’re dedicated to helping you achieve your goals and thrive in the future.

FAQ: Oviedo Advance Directives

What happens if I don't have advance directives?

If you don’t have advance directives in place, your loved ones may have to hire an attorney to initiate guardianship proceedings. This can be stressful and expensive, In some cases, health professionals may need to make decisions on your behalf without knowing your wishes.

By creating advance directives, you can ensure that your wishes are respected and that your loved ones and medical professionals have clear guidance about your care.

Can I change my advance directives later?

Yes, you can change your advance directives at any time. It’s a good idea to review your documents periodically and make updates as needed to ensure they still reflect your wishes. Remember that any changes you make should be properly documented and signed to be legally binding.

How do I choose a healthcare surrogate?

Choosing a healthcare surrogate is an important decision. Some factors to consider when choosing a surrogate include their willingness to take on this responsibility, their availability to be involved in your care, and their ability to communicate effectively with medical professionals. Consider designating an alternate surrogate in case your first choice is unable or unwilling to serve.

Can I create advance directives without a lawyer?

Yes, it is possible to create advance directives without a lawyer. However, it’s important to remember that creating advance directives can involve complex legal and medical issues. Working with an experienced attorney can offer several benefits, including ensuring that your documents meet the state’s legal requirements and are legally binding.

They can also help you navigate complex issues and ensure your documents are clear and accurate.

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