Estate planning in Florida includes actions to be taken after a person’s death with regard to their assets and liabilities, and spells out the actions to be taken for an individual’s medical care in the event they cannot speak for themselves. An estate planning attorney in Vero Beach can help with the completion of these very important documents to make sure common scenarios are spelled out in the 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, because these three documents cover health and financial needs when an individual becomes incapacitated.
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.
A durable power of attorney for health care allows you to name someone to make health care decisions on your behalf, limiting family disputes regarding treatment. A durable power of attorney for finances names someone to handle your affairs during periods of incapacitation. A Florida attorney can draft this essential documentation, sometimes called an advance directive, that provides for previously designated individuals to conduct business on behalf of another person.
Seek legal counsel.
An experienced attorney at The Estate, Trust & Elder Law Firm in Vero Beach Florida can provide professional assistance in the preparation of estate planning documents, and explain the significance of advance directives.
The Estate, Trust & Elder Law Firm, P.L.
IRC Chamber of Commerce
1216 21st Street
Vero Beach, FL 32960
by Appointment Only