FLORIDA – November 30, 2020
A Stuart estate planning attorney can complete essential documents on a client’s behalf that spell out actions to be taken after a person’s death with regard to their assets and liabilities, and the actions to be taken for an individual’s medical care in the event they cannot speak for themselves through a 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. Experienced estate planning attorneys can guide individuals through the questions to be addressed in these documents.
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.
Creating advance directives.
Estate planning attorneys can draft a durable power of attorney for health care, which allows individuals to name someone to make health care decisions on their behalf, limiting family disputes regarding treatment. A durable power of attorney for finances names someone to handle a person’s financial 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 to address questions and concerns about what language should be included in living will documents in Florida. Contact an experienced attorney at The Estate, Trust & Elder Law Firm, P.L. in Stuart Florida to assist with drafting durable powers of attorney and living wills to plan for unforeseen events that leave individuals incapacitated.
The Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.I.
850 NW Federal
Stuart, FL 34994
by Appointment Only
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