End-of-life planning in Florida does not just refer to what happens to your assets and possessions after your death. It includes plans for what should happen to you if you become incapacitated and cannot express your preferences regarding your medical and health care decisions.

At Fradley Law Firm, P.A., we often help people to create powers of attorney and living wills, and provide advice about choosing a health care surrogate.

Power of attorney

The Agency for Health Care Administration explains that people in Florida have the option to choose someone to speak and act on their behalf through a durable power of attorney. This estate planning document allows you to designate what activities – including legal and financial responsibilities as well as health care matters – your chosen representative will perform for you in the event of incapacitation.

Living will

Your living will includes a statement of what medical care you do and do not want if you are unable to communicate these in the moment. For example, you may want to be resuscitated, or you may not want to be intubated. These and other directives are matters you may decide in advance, and your wishes must be honored by medical professionals.

Health care surrogate

You probably will not be able to imagine every possible scenario to include in your living will, so for those unexpected decision-making circumstances, your health care surrogate can speak for you. By communicating to your chosen surrogate your overall goals, beliefs and philosophies regarding end-of-life care, he or she may be able to consider the options and make the decisions you would make in that situation, even though it is unanticipated.

More information about estate planning tools is available on our webpage.