What is an advance directive?

If you or someone you love is looking to provide thorough direction on how certain medical situations are to be handled, an advance directive should be considered. Florida residents who create the proper documentation can know that if they are ever rendered unable to speak and communicate with medical professionals, their wishes will be adhered to. This can happen in one of two ways, as outlined by AARP.

One type of advance directive is a durable power of attorney for health care. This should not be confused with the standard type of durable power of attorney. While the former is specific to medical situations, the latter pertains to financial matters only. If you appoint another person as your durable power of attorney for health care, they essentially become your health proxy. They are authorized to make choices about medical treatments for you on your behalf.

Another type of advance directive is a living will. This form of estate planning lets you indicate what level of action can or should be taken if you are so ill or injured that you cannot communicate with health care providers. For example, you can indicate if you want to be kept alive via life support systems such as ventilators or not.

No matter which type of document you choose, it can be a good idea to review the details with family members or others close to you. This can avoid unnecessary surprises during what may well be a difficult time. This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about advance directives in Florida.

FindLaw Network