If a party becomes unable to make decisions for themselves (either financially or healthcare related) due to physical or mental change, such as suffering from dementia or being in a coma, they are deemed incapacitated. One aspect that many of my clients don’t realize is part of Estate Planning is having the proper plan and documents in place in the case they become incapacitated. A Health Care Directive is one of those documents included in my full Estate Plan.
Florida law recognizes the right of a competent adult to make instructions, directing their physician(s) on when to or not to provide, withhold, or withdraw life-prolonging procedures and assigning individuals to make health care treatment decisions for them if they unable to make said decisions on their own. Our Health Care Directive covers both areas. In the Health Care Directive you can assign individual “agents” that will have the power to make health care decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated, and you can declare whether or not you want to be provided life-prolonging procedures if there is no reasonable expectation of recovery.
If a person did not have documents in place that would allow other individuals to make decisions such as these for them, a person runs the risk of either not having their health care wishes fulfilled and/or putting their loved ones in the position of having to have a Guardianship action with the Courts in order to get a Court appointed Guardian.
We highly recommend that you have an attorney draft this document so that it complies with Florida law. We always do FREE consultations, no matter what the issue is. If you have any questions, please contact Aimee at 352-633-9791.