In a recent blog, I explained the difference between simply having a durable power of attorney and having a good one. Likewise, advance directives can be effectively written…or they can be a mess. What do you need to know to protect your needs?
An advance directive appoints someone you trust to make health care decisions for you. These may be called different things–a Living Will, a Designation of Health Care Surrogate, or an Anatomical Gift Form.
A carefully crafted advance directive appoints the right people to make decisions regarding medical consent, to discuss your care with doctors, to disclose medical records, and to make end-of-life decisions.
A recent change in Florida law means you now have the power to decide when your advance directive takes effect. Before the change, a designated surrogate could make decisions on your behalf only when a physician has determined you were incapacitated. The power of your loved one was directly dependent on doctors determining your incapacity.
However, this change in law means now you can state that the authority of your surrogate can be effective as of the date of their signing. For many people, this provides a sense of relief that it’s a loved one, not a team of physicians, who is looking out for your best interests. Instead of waiting in limbo while medical professionals butt heads over your incapacity, your surrogate can take charge and make decisions for you.
Is this important to you? If so, it’s time to update (or create) your advance directive. To get started, call us at (954) 532-9447.