Florida estate planning not only includes actions to be taken after a person’s death with regard to their assets and liabilities, but it also spells out the actions to be taken for an individual’s medical care in the event they cannot speak for themselves.  A Florida estate planning attorney can help with the completion of these very important documents to make sure common scenarios are spelled out in the living will.  It is common for an attorney to draft a living will, a durable power of attorney for finances and a durable power of attorney for health care simultaneously, as these three documents cover health and financial needs when an individual becomes incapacitated.

Living will.

Common end-of-life care decisions that could be outlined in a living will include:

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to restart a heart when it stops beating. Determine if and when resuscitation by CPR or a device that stimulates the heart should be undertaken.
  • Mechanical ventilation takes over breathing when someone is unable to breathe on their own. Be clear about if, and how long a person should be on a ventilator.
  • Tube feeding supplies the body with nutrients and fluids intravenously or via a tube in the stomach. Clarify if, and how long tube feeding should continue.
  • Dialysis removes waste from your blood and manages fluid levels if your kidneys no longer function. Specify if, and how long treatment should continue.
  • Antibiotics or antiviral medications can be used to treat many infections. Determine if treatment should be undertaken.
  • Comfort care (palliative care) includes any number of interventions that may be used to keep an individual comfortable and manage pain, including wishes to die at home, receiving pain medications, oral relief with ice chips to soothe mouth dryness, and avoiding invasive tests or treatments.
  • Organ and tissue donations for transplantation can be specified in a living will. If organs are removed for donation, life-sustaining treatment may continue temporarily until the procedure is complete.
  • Donating a body for scientific study also can be specified.

Advance directives.

A durable power of attorney for health care allows you to name someone to make health care decisions on your behalf, limiting family disputes regarding treatment.  A durable power of attorney for finances names someone to handle your affairs during periods of incapacitation. In Florida, this essential documentation is sometimes called an advance directive, and provides for someone to conduct business on behalf of another.

Seek legal counsel.

An experienced attorney at Baby Boomers’ Barrister Law Firm in St. Petersburg Florida can provide professional assistance in the preparation of these documents.

 

Baby Boomers’ Barrister Estate Planning & Elder Law

100 2nd Avenue S.
Suite 206N
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Phone: (727) 565-4250

 

Sources:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0765/0765.html

https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2018/731.201

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