The Importance of Lifetime Living Documents
The realities of the coronavirus pandemic continue to affect us all, and this time of great concern and uncertainty has led many people to consider their health care choices. It has also been a catalyst for important conversations with family and loved ones regarding health care.
In fact, one question we are often asked by clients is how specific they should be regarding their wishes about medical care, including tests, medications, surgical procedures, and heroic measures during a serious illness or crisis situation, in their Estate Planning documents.
Our answer is that you are wise be prepared for an illness with the standard lifetime living documents we include in our Estate Plans. These are: Designation of Health Care Surrogate, which gives a person you select the ability to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you cannot make decisions for yourself due to illness or incapacity; HIPAA Release, which grants a person the authorization to receive your medical information and discuss your medical condition with health care providers; and Living Will, which expresses your instructions concerning life-prolonging procedures.
We also suggest that you express yourself clearly and directly about your medical treatment preferences in person and/or in writing to the person(s) you select as your Health Care Surrogate. Their goal as your Health Care Surrogate is to carry out your wishes, so they need to know what you would want under different scenarios. Also, it is important to tell them if you have changed your mind about anything regarding your care, before you end up in a crisis situation that could make clear communication difficult.
If you need help creating lifetime living documents to ensure you are protected during a crisis, illness, or period of incapacity, do not delay and set an appointment with one of our knowledgeable, compassionate, and caring Elder Law Attorneys. With offices in Orange Park, Jacksonville, and St. Augustine, our Elder Law Attorneys help clients in the North Florida area with all of their Estate Planning needs.
We are your Florida First Coast Elder Law Attorneys.