When you’re young and strong and healthy, you might not consider the possibility that you could become incapacitated at some point in life. This can happen quite suddenly and unexpectedly, such as if you’re involved in a car accident and suffer a traumatic brain injury. Later in life, as you age, dementia or other neurodegenerative conditions might set in. This is why the advance directive document in the Florida estate planning process is so beneficial.
If you become unable to communicate your own wishes, numerous people might act on your behalf and not necessarily do what you would want them to do. For example, you might feel strongly that you do not want resuscitation if your heart stops once you are past a certain age. If you do not have an advance directive in place, the medical team attending to your care would not know that, and they would attempt resuscitation.
An advance directive enables you to choose a representative
By incorporating a durable power of attorney into an advance directive, you can designate someone you trust with authority to make health care decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. This person can also ensure that all necessary parties carry out any instructions you have listed in your advance directive. This would include things like use of a ventilator, intubation or use of a feeding tube.
It is a document that helps prevent family disputes
If you have several grown children, they might disagree regarding issues such as those mentioned in the previous section. Another benefit of executing an advance directive as part of your estate plan is that you can state your wishes in writing. This removes the burden of decision from their shoulders and can help them avoid disputes. The doctors and team members caring for you will adhere to the instructions listed in the document.
Choose where you want to spend your final days
If you implement an advance directive as part of your Florida estate plan, you may specify where you want to spend your final days if doctors have stated that you are nearing the end of life. If you want to go to a hospice facility or want to go back to your own home (where hospice workers can visit), you can state this in the document. To learn more about advance directives and other estate planning documents, you can speak with someone who is knowledgeable about these legal topics.