When it comes time for Florida residents to create an estate plan, a common misconception is that it is only necessary for elderly individuals. The truth is that almost everyone can benefit from an estate plan. Not only does this make sure that assets go where they are intended, it also ensures that individuals can make their final wants and wishes known long before they face death. The way to do this is through advanced care planning and a healthcare directive.
The National Institute of Health reminds people that a medical emergency can happen at any time so it is important to be prepared for anything. Injuries, accidents and illnesses can sneak up on anyone, and medical decisions may have to be made by another if the person cannot make those decisions or has an emergency at the end of their life.
When it comes time to make decisions about when to resuscitate and how long to leave someone on life support, they should be able to have a part in that discussion. If these conversations are had early enough, they can work with their attorney and the person they have chosen to make sure that their desires and values are known. An advance directive allows for the right decisions to be made when an individual is unable to speak for themselves or is incapacitated.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are people that are commonly called on to make these decisions. Some examples are a patient advocate, health care attorney in fact, health care representative, health care proxy or a health care agent. There are certain requirements that this person must meet depending on state law, but an estate planning attorney can help to make sure those requirements are met.